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LA Man, 41, Pleads Guilty To Murdering Live-In Girlfriend, Her Son

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Police arrested Ishmael Townsend after the bodies of his live-in girlfriend and her son were found inside this apartment in May 2012. (credit: CBS)

Police arrested Ishmael Townsend after the bodies of his live-in girlfriend and her son were found inside this apartment in May 2012. (credit: CBS)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 41-year-old Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering two people — his live-in girlfriend and the woman’s 11-year-old son.

The bodies of Penelipha Lastarris Carter and her son Crestsalin Joshua Carter were found decomposing last May in the apartment the man shared with the victims.

Ishmael Imran Townsend pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.

Townsend also admitted a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors had not decided before the plea whether or not to seek the death penalty. Townsend is now facing two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole, according to Robison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Townsend slashed the throat of his 39-year-old live-in girlfriend and strangled her son, Robison said.

The victims’ remains were discovered May 21, 2012, at an apartment in the 900 block of West 81st Street between Vermont Avenue and Hoover Street.

Neighbors told authorities they smelled a foul odor coming from the apartment. At the time, they also told police the mother and son had not been seen for about a week. Their vehicle, a 2004 Pontiac Montana van, was also missing. It was later found in the area.

Detectives believe the murders were the result of a domestic dispute.

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