A Costa Mesa man convicted of second-degree murder for the slaying of his second wife was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison Friday by Superior Court Judge David O. Carter.
Elliot Austin Beal, 51, bludgeoned and strangled his wife, Gretchen S. Beal, at their home on March 11, 1984. After a six-hour standoff with police, Beal surrendered. His wife was found in the trunk of their car.
Beal also was convicted of trying to murder his first wife in Tennessee 15 years ago.
That conviction allowed Carter to add five years to the standard 15 to life sentence for second-degree murder. Carter also added one year for the use of a wooden club in the killing.