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Teenager convicted in 2010 stabbing deaths of grandparents

An 18-year-old Latina has been convicted of stabbing her grandparents to death in their Rosemead home in 2010, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. 

A jury deliberated just over a day before finding Sophia Cristo guilty March 30 of the first-degree murders of her grandfather, Jack Bezner, 71, and grandmother, Susan Bezner, 64. 

The jury also found true the special circumstances charges of lying in wait and multiple murders, as well as a special allegation that Cristo, then 14, personally used a knife to stab her grandmother on Aug. 9, 2010.

The defendant is facing life without possibility of parole when she is sentenced June 2 in Department 120. Cristo is not eligible for the death penalty because of her age at the time of the killings, prosecutors said. 

Cristo’s then boyfriend, Rodolfo Lopez, a 25-year-old Latino, is awaiting trial on the same charges for his role in the killings. He has a pretrial hearing scheduled for June 3 in Department 120.

Lopez and Cristo are accused of killing the victims in their Arica Avenue home. Prosecutors said Lopez and Cristo then stole her grandparents' Nissan and fled to El Paso, Texas, where they were captured. 

The Bezners were last seen alive by their sons about 9 a.m. that day, according to the the Los Angeles County coroner's office. When the sons returned at 8 p.m., they found the couple lying in bed with multiple stab wounds, dead.

-- Jeanette Marantos

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