2 Teens Charged As Adults For Killing Girl’s Parents
COMPTON (CBS) — A 15-year-old girl and her 16-year-old boyfriend were charged as adults with murder Friday for allegedly killing the girl’s parents, whose bodies were found in separate graves in Long Beach and Norwalk.
Cynthia Alvarez and Giovanni Gallardo were each charged with two counts of murder.
The charges include the special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders, but because of the defendants’ ages, they are not facing the death penalty.
They appeared in court today in Compton, but their arraignment was rescheduled for Nov. 9.
They are accused of killing Alvarez’s mother, 58-year-old Gloria Villalta, and her 51-year-old stepfather, Jose Lara, in the family’s Compton home, allegedly because of friction attributed in part to the teens’ relationship, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors contend that the couple were killed sometime between Oct. 13 and last Saturday.
They allegedly killed Villalta first when she arrived home from work, then hid the body and waited for Lara to come home.
According to prosecutors, Lara was beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed when he came home.
The teens then allegedly loaded the bodies into a car and dumped them in separate areas.
Lara’s body was discovered Thursday in a shallow grave in a vacant lot at Atlantic Avenue and Artesia Boulevard in North Long Beach, about a block from the couple’s home, according to the Coroner’s Office.
The woman’s body was discovered around 10 a.m. Saturday in a shallow grave in a vacant lot in the 11800 block of Norwalk Boulevard in Norwalk.
On Tuesday, relatives of the couple, who lived in the 16100 block of South Atlantic Avenue in Compton, reported them missing “under suspicious circumstances,” according to sheriff’s Lt. Mary Leef.
Investigators found the teens Wednesday, and obtained information from them that led them to Lara’s body, Leef said.
If convicted, Alvarez and Gallardo each face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.