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Teenage girl's trial to begin in slaying of her parents

April 29, 2013|By Jack Leonard

Opening statements are expected to begin Monday in the trial of a teenage girl charged with murdering her mother and stepfather in a dispute over her relationship with her boyfriend, also accused of carrying out the slayings.

Cynthia Alvarez, then 15, and her boyfriend, Giovanni Gallardo, then 16, allegedly attacked Alvarez’s mother when the 58-year-old arrived at the family’s Compton home after work one day in October 2011, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors say the teens hid Gloria Villalta’s body until Alvarez’s stepfather, Jose Lara, 51, came home. Lara was stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat.

Villalta’s body was discovered buried in a vacant lot in Santa Fe Springs. Lara’s was found in a lot near Jordan High School in Long Beach, the district attorney’s office said.

The teenage couple are charged as adults and face sentences of life in prison if convicted. Gallardo is expected to go on trial later.

Updated, 2:49 p.m. April 29: Opening statements have been rescheduled to Tuesday.

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jack.leonard@latimes.com

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