One of two twin brothers was convicted Monday of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree robbery in the stabbing death of a 62-year-old woman walking home from a Los Angeles supermarket three days before Christmas 2014.
The jury panel deliberated for less than two hours before finding Kenyata Blake, 22, guilty of killing and robbing Maria Elena Rivas and robbing another woman roughly a month later, according to a court clerk.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark S. Arnold set sentencing and a restitution hearing for May 2 and ordered Blake held without bail.
Arnold thanked the jurors for their attention and added, “In my view you gave both sides (a) fair trial.”
At least one member of the victim’s family is expected to make a statement at the sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors previously decided not to seek the death penalty, although the criminal complaint included a special circumstance allegation of a murder during the commission of a robbery and an allegation that Kenyata Blake personally used a knife in the attack.
Lawyers representing Kenyata’s brother Keishon, who faced the same charges, declared a doubt as to his competency to stand trial and Keishon was ultimately referred to a state mental hospital.
Prosecutors said Rivas was walking home after buying Christmas groceries in the Adams-Normandie area when the two brothers attacked her and stole her handbag.
The other victim was robbed outside a liquor store in the Mid-City area on Jan. 23.
The twin brothers were arrested three days later and have remained jailed or in the hospital since then.
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