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Beating Victim's Son Faces Trial in Bystander's Death

February 11, 1988|TRACEY KAPLAN | Times Staff Writer

A North Hollywood man charged with stabbing two people he thought beat up his father was ordered Wednesday to stand trial in the killing of an innocent bystander.

San Fernando Municipal Judge James E. Satt ordered Carlos Arnoldo Lopez, 25, tried on one count of murder in the death of Lionel Mercado, 40, and one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in an attack on Pablo Elizondo, 40.

Both incidents took place Dec. 13 within an hour of each other near a liquor-store parking lot at Vanowen Street and Hinds Avenue in North Hollywood.

Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During a preliminary hearing, Los Angeles Police Detective Ted Ball testified that Lopez confessed Dec. 15 that he had stabbed the two men shortly after his father came home from the liquor store with a cut above his left eye. Ball said Lopez told him that his father had said two men attacked him and tried to steal a six-pack of beer.

Lucia de la Cruz testified that she saw the defendant's father being attacked and identified Elizondo as one of the attackers.

But she testified that Mercado was not the other assailant. She identified another man as the second attacker, "making it clear that Lopez killed the wrong guy," Deputy Dist. Atty. Daniel M. Greller said.

Kenneth Schuler testified that he saw two men attack Mercado, one with a crowbar and the other with a knife. Schuler said he could not identify either man.

Lopez's 17-year-old brother also has been charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident. He has been certified to stand trial as an adult, Greller said. His preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 25.

Lopez and his brother are being held in County Jail. The teen-ager is being held without bail and Lopez is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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