A man who served nearly three decades in state prison for fatally beating and stabbing his stepmother is set to be arraigned Monday in the killing of a retired doctor at her East Los Angeles home.
Timothy Chavira, 56, is charged with murder for the Dec. 7, 2019, slaying of Editha Cruz de Leon, 76, at her home in the 3900 block of North Van Horne Avenue.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation that Chavira was previously convicted of first-degree murder, along with allegations that he used an unknown sharp object during the attack on de Leon and that he was on parole at the time.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Chavira, who was arrested two weeks later in Pasadena by Los Angeles police. He has remained jailed without bail.
The woman’s body was found a day after she was killed. She died from sharp force injuries and strangulation, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
De Leon — a mother of five sons and grandmother of five — had moved from the Philippines to the United States, where she was an obstetrician-gynecologist before retiring and traveling extensively across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, according to an online obituary.
Chavira was previously convicted in 1988 of first-degree murder for his stepmother’s 1986 killing, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison and released on parole in July 2017, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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