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SANTA MONICA : Man Convicted of Killing Ex-Girlfriend, Woman

After eight hours of deliberation, a Superior Court jury convicted a former bodybuilder in the 1983 gunshot killings of his estranged girlfriend and another woman.

John Alexander Dean Riccardi, whose disappearance 11 years ago brought him notoriety on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted,” was found guilty this week on two counts of first-degree murder. Additional jury findings of multiple murder and murder during the commission of a burglary move the trial into a penalty phase that could lead to the death penalty.

Riccardi, 58, disappeared the day after the March 3, 1983, killings of Connie Hopkins Navarro, 41, of West Los Angeles and her friend, Sue Marshall Jory, 42, of Santa Monica.

FBI agents said that when they caught up with Riccardi he was living in a stylish Houston condominium filled with cash, jewels and other evidence of a lucrative burglary trade.

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During his testimony, Riccardi maintained his innocence and denied accusations that he harassed, threatened and stalked Navarro during the waning months of their 2 1/2-year relationship.

Defense attorneys Kent A. Schaffer and Carl Jones will argue that Riccardi should not be executed.


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