Advertisement
Share

Woman Is Convicted in Killings of 2 Men, 2 Girls

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A Highland Park woman who turned up a television set to mask the screams of two men and two girls who were bound, stabbed and then fatally shot was found guilty Wednesday of murder and attempted murder, despite claims that her boyfriend made her join in the grisly slayings.

Trinia Irene Aguirre wept as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper delivered the verdict in the killings, which were carried out at the Baldwin Park home of the ex-wife of Aguirre’s boyfriend, David “Spooky” Alvarez.

The judge found Aguirre guilty on four counts of murder with special circumstances, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of armed robbery in the attack that claimed the lives of two sisters, ages 8 and 12.

Advertisement

Aguirre, 23, the mother of two boys, faces life in prison without parole when she is sentenced in December.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Dixon said Aguirre willingly assisted Alvarez in the murders--apparently an act of revenge against his ex-wife’s family.

“She cried on the stand. She cried when she lied to detectives,” Dixon said. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years, but this one was especially difficult . . . putting a gun to the back of the heads of an 8- and 12-year-old is so monster-like.”

Alvarez is awaiting trial in Mexico, where he was captured by authorities. He awaits trial there because two of the victims were Mexican citizens. Mexico has declined to allow extradition because he could face the death penalty in California.

The Sept. 29, 1996, attack began when Aguirre knocked on the door of the small wood-frame home of Alvarez’s ex-wife. She told the family she had car trouble and asked to use the phone, according to court records.

Once inside, she pulled out a handgun, then opened the door for Alvarez. He pushed the family members into a den, where they were tied up, authorities said.

The couple then turned up the air conditioner and the television. Evelyn and Massiel Torres, 8 and 12, were shot as they lay bound and gagged on the floor. Their uncle, Roberto Diaz, 32, and Jose Rojas, 34, also were killed. Pete Torres, the father of Evelyn and Massiel, survived his wounds. So did Celia Diaz and Martha Diaz, the wife of Roberto.

Aguirre and Alvarez stole more than $3,500, as well as a bank card they used on a spending spree.

Deputy Public Defender Rita Smith argued that Alvarez forced Aguirre at gunpoint to stab the victims. “She actually saved some of their lives,” Smith said.

Aguirre will appeal the verdict, Smith said.

Survivors of the massacre testified that they saw Aguirre carrying a semiautomatic handgun throughout the attack.


Advertisement