Erik Menendez Biography (1971-)

. Born on November 27, 1971 in New Jersey. Menendez and his older brother, Lyle, grew up grew with wealth and privilege under the tight rein of a domineering father. While Lyle was described as aloof and witty, Erik was seen as sensitive and quiet. Erik grew up emulating his older brother and for a time lived in the shadow of Lyle. Both brothers were considered mysterious loners, who laughed only at their own private jokes.

In August 1989, Erik’s parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, were found shot to death in their Beverly Hills home. Though Lyle was the one who phoned in the call to 911, the brothers were eventually arrested in 1990 for their parents’ murders. In July 1993, Lyle and Erik were tried by different juries, each claiming self-defense for the murders, saying that they had survived years of psychological and sexual abuse. The prosecution sought the death penalty, and in January 1994, mistrials were declared when neither jury could reach a verdict. The retrial took place in October 1995, when both brothers were tried by one jury. In March 1996, Lyle and Eric were found guilty of murder in the first degree. They avoided the death penalty and were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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