A judge on Friday postponed opening statements in the murder trial of a teenager charged with killing his girlfriend's mother and stepfather, whose bodies were discovered buried in separate shallow graves.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ricardo R. Ocampo told the Compton jury to return Tuesday morning for opening arguments in the case against Giovanni Gallardo, 18. He told jurors that the case had to be postponed through no fault of anyone but did not elaborate.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Eric Siddall declined to comment. Gallardo's attorney, Deputy Alternate Public Defender Scott T. Johnson, could not be reached for comment.
Gallardo, who was 16 at the time of the killings but is charged as an adult, is accused of carrying out the October 2011 slayings at his girlfriend's family home in Compton.
His girlfriend, Cynthia Alvarez, was convicted earlier this month of both murders.
During her trial, Alvarez, 16, blamed her boyfriend for the crimes, saying he attacked Gloria Villalta and Jose Lara in their trailer home on Atlantic Avenue. She claimed she did not want her parents dead but did not seek help because she was afraid of her boyfriend, whom she described as abusive.
Alvarez admitted during the trial that after the killings she and Gallardo drove her mother's Jeep to buy party supplies while her mother's corpse was decomposing in the back of the vehicle.
A jury deliberated for about three hours before convicting her of first-degree murder for both deaths.
Alvarez testified that she and Gallardo buried the body of Lara, 51, on the night of the killings. The body of Villalta, 58, would not fit in the same small grave, so the teens kept it in the back of the Jeep and later buried it in a vacant lot in Norwalk, she said.
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