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Long Beach man sentenced in killing of girlfriend

A Long Beach man was sentenced Jan. 28, 2004, to state prison for the May 2002 murder of his girlfriend, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Pedro Tepoz Leon, 35, was sentenced to 26 years to life for the murder of Mayra Mora Lopez.

In October 2003, a jury deliberated less than an hour before convicting Leon of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Lopez.

Lopez, a 19-year-old Latina, was stabbed to death, Oct. 27, 2002, at the couple’s apartment in the 1900 block of East 1st Street in Long Beach.

Lopez had been a student of Leon’s at Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, where he coached girls soccer and taught Spanish.

Leon was arrested several hours after the fatal stabbing near Vacaville, Calif.

Update: On Jan. 29, 2004, less than 24 hours after being sentenced to state prison, Leon was found dead on his county jail cell bunk with self-inflicted stab wounds to his neck. He was found about 5 a.m. and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

-- Maloy Moore

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