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Burbank man convicted of 1989 Mission Viejo murder

A Burbank man was convicted this week of a murder that took place

more than 14 years ago in Mission Viejo.

Mark Glen Morales, 36, was found guilty Monday of shooting

21-year-old Steven Merritt after a party in 1989. Morales reportedly

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confronted Merritt after Merritt showed up at a party at his

parents’ home and talked to a female friend of his.

Morales was questioned in the week following the murder, but soon

after left the country and did not return for about seven years.

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Detectives revived the case and in 2000 arrested Morales, who was

living in Burbank and teaching at a Los Angeles high school at the

time, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials said.

A mistrial was declared in Morales’ first trial after jurors

deadlocked 10-2 in favor of guilt, but jurors in the second trial

only deliberated for a day and a half before declaring him guilty of

second-degree murder.

Morales faces 15 years to life in prison and will be sentenced

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Nov. 7.

Ben Godar


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