Local News in Brief : Man Guilty of Killing Father's Assailant

A North Hollywood man was convicted Friday of murdering a man who had beaten his father, but was acquitted of trying to kill a second man who he believed had participated in the beating.

A San Fernando Superior Court jury convicted Carlos Arnoldo Lopez, 24, of second-degree murder for the Dec. 13 stabbing death of Lionel Mercado, 40. Jurors acquitted Lopez of attempted murder for stabbing Pablo Elizondo, who Lopez claimed had joined in the attack on his father.

The incident began after a neighbor told Lopez that a group of men had beaten his father in a liquor store parking lot at Vanowen Street and Hinds Avenue in North Hollywood.

Lopez and his 17-year-old brother went to find the men, said Lopez's attorney, Leonard Chaitin, and they began to fight. Lopez stabbed Mercado and Elizondo with a 4-inch pocket knife, wounding Mercado in the heart, according to testimony. Elizondo suffered minor injuries.

Chaitin said that Lopez attacked the two men in self-defense. However, Deputy Dist. Atty. Daniel Greller said Lopez stabbed the men in revenge for the attack on his father.

Lopez could receive a sentence of 16 years to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.

Lopez's brother, whose name is being withheld because of his age, has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, Greller said.

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