Man convicted of killing 2 [Corrected]

A Hollywood man was convicted Thursday for his involvement in a 2007 plan to kill a UC Irvine student's family members in a plot described by prosecutors as a revenge killing for a friend.

The headline on an earlier version said a UC Irvine student was killed. In fact, her father and sister were killed.

Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 26, was found guilty of two felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, the Orange County district attorney's office said in a news release.

Prosecutors said Krasnoperov was contacted by friend Iftekhar Murtaza, 27, who recently broke up with his girlfriend of two years, Shayona Dhanak, a UCI student.

Murtaza allegedly believed the breakup was due to pressure from Dhanak's family — who are practicing Hindus — because he was a nonpracticing Muslim.

Krasnoperov and Murtaza talked over AOL Instant Messenger, according to the D.A.'s office, and Murtaza allegedly said he wanted to kill Dhanak's parents.

Krasnoperov said he would contact someone he knew who "used to do this kind of work."

The two then allegedly discussed methods to kill her family.

Krasnoperov instructed Murtaza to get a picture from Dhanak of her family, prosecutors said.

On May 21, 2007, Murtaza allegedly arranged to meet with childhood friend Charles Anthony Murphy Jr., 27, of Mission Hills offering to pay him $30,000 for a job.

That same night, Dhanak's father, Jaypraykash, 56, and sister Karishma, 20, were killed. Her mother Leela, 54, was repeatedly stabbed, prosecutors said.

All three men are accused of repeatedly beating and stabbing Jaypraykash, stabbing Leela, and later setting their Anaheim Hills house on fire before attempting to flee in a van with the three victims.

Leela was left on a neighbor's lawn unconscious, and Jaypraykash and Karishma were taken to a bike trail in Mason Regional Park in Irvine, where they were killed and their bodies were set on fire.

Leela spent three weeks in a coma and a month recovering in the hospital, the release said.

Krasnoperov is set to be sentenced March 16, and is expected to receive a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict in Murphy's case, and a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13. He faces the possibility of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Murtaza is facing the death penalty. His next hearing before a trial is set for Jan. 20.

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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