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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


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.


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


Nov. 7.

Ben Godar