Man in prison 30 years for killing stepmother got out and killed again, police say

Timothy Chavira, 56, was previously convicted for the 1986 murder of his stepmother, Laurie Ann Chavira.

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By Minyvonne Burke

A California man who spent nearly 30 years in prison for murdering his stepmother is now accused of killing a Los Angeles woman two years after he was released on parole.

Timothy Chavira, 56, was arrested in December in Pasadena in connection to the death of Editha Cruz de Leon, a 76-year-old retired doctor. He was charged with one count of murder, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Cruz de Leon was killed with a sharp object at her home on Dec. 7, authorities said. The district's attorney office did not say if Chavira and the victim knew each other, and did not reveal a possible motive.

Chavira was previously found guilty of first-degree murder for the 1986 death of his stepmother, who had been beaten and fatally stabbed, the district attorney's office said. According to the Los Angeles Times, Laurie Ann Chavira's body was found in the trunk of her car.

Then-Deputy District Attorney David E. Demerjian told the outlet in 1987, a year after Laurie Chavira's death, that the "only motive I could come up with was hatred."

Timothy Chavira was sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison in that murder. He was released on parole in July 2017.

If convicted of murdering Cruz de Leon, Timothy Chavira faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to online jail records, his next court date is in March.