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Accused Murderer of Santa Monica Pair Will Not Face Death Penalty

The stabbing and beating deaths of an 89-year-old an and a 27-year-old woman took place in Culver City.

Zackariah Timothy Lehnen is charged with murdering two Santa Monica residents in Culver City. Patch file photo.
Zackariah Timothy Lehnen is charged with murdering two Santa Monica residents in Culver City. Patch file photo.

The prosecution announced today it will not seek the death penalty against a transient charged with murdering an 89-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman in the senior citizen's Culver City home nearly three years ago.

Zackariah Timothy Lehnen, 33, is charged in the May 2, 2011, stabbing and beating deaths of Lucien Bergez, 89, and Erica Escobar, 27, who lived in Santa Monica.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

Police were called to the home in the 4000 block of Huron Avenue near Washington Boulevard around 10 a.m. May 3, 2011, after the bodies were discovered inside the home, according to Culver City police.

Lehnen was arrested two days later and has remained jailed without bail since then.

He is due back at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles for a pretrial hearing March 19.

If convicted as charged, he now faces a maximum of life in prison without possibility of parole.

--City News Service

Glenn E Grab March 09, 2014 at 04:51 PM
no death penalty, are you kidding?....what does it take to qualify?...

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