Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A killer pleaded no contest Thursday to second-degree murder in the death of an 80-year-old woman killed inside her home in Mar Vista more than four decades ago, when he was a teenager.

Kevin Shanahan, 56, was immediately sentenced to five years to life in state prison under sentencing guidelines that were in place at the time of Alice Lewis’ Dec. 17, 1975, killing, according to Deputy District Attorney Guillermo Santiso.

Shanahan was one of two defendants charged in the attack on Lewis, who authorities believe was strangled or smothered during a residential burglary. He was 16 at the time of the crime.

Dennis Vasquez — who was a week away from turning 17 at the time of the killing and lived a block away from the victim — was convicted in September 2014 of first-degree murder. Vasquez, then 55, was sentenced about two months later to seven years to life in state prison.

In a ruling last December, a three-justice panel rejected the defense’s contention that jurors in Vasquez’s trial should have been instructed on the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter, along with the claim that he received ineffective assistance from his trial attorney, who conceded that he was guilty of second-degree murder.

The California Supreme Court refused in February to review the case against Vasquez.

—City News Service

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