The Brothers Grim
Lyle and Erik Menendez, sons of a successful Cuban-American business executive, were convicted of first-degree murder on March 20, 1996, for the shotgun killings of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez. They are each serving two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole. Lyle, now 34, is being held at the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi. Erik, now 31, is at the California State Prison in Sacramento County.


  • April 12, 1996: Allegations of misconduct raised against defense attorney
  • April 5, 1996: Sister of Jose Menendez regrets not telling authorities about abuse
  • March 29, 1996: Penalty phase of trial opens
  • March 22, 1996: Brothers are found guilty of first-degree murder
  • March 15, 1996: Two jurors removed from case for medical reasons
  • March 8, 1996: Jury begins deliberations
  • March 1, 1996: Defense attorney says prosecutor tried to win case for "political reasons"
  • Feb. 23, 1996: Closing arguments begin
  • Feb. 16, 1996: Defense attacks credibility of friend to whom Erik confessed
  • Feb. 9, 1996: Lyle Menendez's former fiancee contradicts Erik's earlier testimony
  • Feb. 2, 1996: Defense rests after judge rules Erik's therapist cannot testify
  • Jan. 26, 1996: Defense demands mistrial over prosecution's questioning of witness
  • Jan. 19, 1996: Cousin testifies Jose Menendez spent hours alone with Erik in his bedroom
  • Jan. 12, 1996: Psychologist testifies that Erik suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome
  • Jan. 5, 1996: Erik admits that he told a friend he killed his parents
  • Dec. 22, 1995: Prosecutor challenges Erik's claims that his father molested him
  • Dec. 15, 1995: Erik testifies he feared his parents would kill them
  • Dec. 8, 1995: Erik testifies his father beat, belittled and raped him
  • Dec. 1, 1995: Defense witness calls reconstruction of crime scene "junk science"
  • Nov. 22, 1995: The state rests its case
  • Nov. 17, 1995: Defense attorney Leslie Abramson attacks key prosecution witness
  • Nov. 10, 1995: Jury sees dozens of gruesome photographs
  • Nov. 3, 1995: Lyle Menendez tells friend he's worried about recorded therapy sessions
  • Oct. 27, 1995: Brothers went on wild spending spree after slayings
  • Oct. 20, 1995: Jury listens to the audiotape of the 911 call
  • Oct. 11, 1995: Opening statements presented, testimony begins
  •     Lyle and Erik Menendez were convicted of first-degree murder on March 20, 1996, for the shotgun killings of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez. They are serving life prison terms without the possibility of parole.    
  • Full coverage
  • Juror speaks out
    Lesley Hillings, a juror in the second Menendez murder trial, chats
  • Aggravating and mitigating factors
  • Defendants in the Hot Seat
  • Lyle's Probation Report
    This probation report for Lyle Menendez recommends that probation be denied.
  • Erik's Probation Report
    No probation was also recommended for Erik Menendez, according to his probation report.
  • Sentencing Transcript
    Judge Stanley Weisberg sentenced Erik and Lyle Menendez to serve two consecutive life terms without parole, one for each parent
  • Jury Instructions
    Jurors were given these instructions before deciding the fate of the Menendez brothers
  • Motion on Escape Plans
    In this motion, Lyle Menendez sought to block prosecutors from introducing evidence that he planned on trying to escape police custody
  • Spending Exclusion Response
    In response to last-minute motions filed by the defense, the court addresses issues from seized credit cards to the defendant's bail request.
  • Photos Motion
    Prosecutors asked that photos of the brothers changing in the bathroom — which the defense says were taken by their slain father — be excluded from the retrial.
  • Spending Habits Motion
    The defense asks the court to prohibit evidence that Lyle and Erik Menendez went on a spending spree following the murders.
  • Statements Motion
    Lyle Menendez sought to block the prosecution from introducing out of court statements at the retrial
  • Motion to Exclude Testimony
    The state's motion seeking to exclude the testimony of teachers, coaches, friends and family members during the retrial of Erik and Lyle Menendez.

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