Chronology of Events

August 20, 1989
Jose and Mary Louise (Kitty) Menendez are shotgunned to death in the den of their Beverly Hills home.

August 21, 1989
Their sons, Lyle and Erik, ages 21 and 18, respectively, are questioned by police but are not considered suspects.

October 31, 1989
Erik confesses his participation in the killings to his therapist, Dr. Jerome Oziel.

November 2, 1989
Therapy session between Oziel and the brothers.

November 28, 1989
Therapy session between Oziel and Erik.

December 11, 1989
Dr. Oziel audiotapes a session in which he and the brothers talk about the killings.

March 5, 1990
Judalon Smyth, Dr. Oziel’s girlfriend, goes to the police with information about the killings.

March 8, 1990
Police seize Dr. Oziel’s audio tapes and written notes. Lyle is arrested and sent to Los Angeles County Jail.

March 11, 1990
Erik voluntarily returns to California from a tennis tournament in Israel and is also arrested.

March 12, 1990
Felony complaints are filed against Lyle and Erik, who are both in jail.

March 26, 1990
Lyle and Erik are arraigned on two counts of murder with special circumstance allegations – murder for financial gain, multiple murder and murder while lying in wait. Both plead “Not guilty.”

August 6, 1990
After a hearing conducted over a six-day period in the California Superior Court, a judge rules that all of Oziel’s tapes are admissible.

March 28, 1991
California Court of Appeal decision in Menendez v. Superior Court.

August 27, 1992
California Supreme Court decision in Menendez v. Superior Court.

December 7, 1992
A Los Angeles County grand jury indicts Lyle and Erik on murder charges with special circumstances allegations of multiple murder and murder while lying in wait. A third special circumstance – that the brothers committed the murders for financial gain – is rejected by the grand jury.

December 29, 1992
Lyle and Erik enter “Not guilty” pleas at their arraignment on murder charges.

January 12, 1993
Prosecutors announce they will seek the death penalty against both brothers. The case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg.

June 14, 1993
Jury selection begins.

July 20, 1993
Trial begins. Opening statements made by the parties. Prosecution begin case-in-chief.

August 16, 1993
Prosecution rest. Defense case begins.

November 18, 1993
Defense rest after presenting 56 witnesses.

November 19, 1993
Rebuttal phase begins.

December 3, 1993
Both sides rest, end of testimony.

December 8, 1993
Closing arguments begin in Lyle’s case.

December 10, 1993
Closing arguments in Lyle’s case conclude. The jury is instructed on the law and begins deliberations.

December 13, 1993
Closing arguments begin in Erik’s case.

December 15, 1993
Closing arguments in Erik’s case conclude. The jury is instructed on the law and begins deliberations.

January 13, 1994
After deliberating for 106 hours, Erik’s jury announces a deadlock, and a mistrial is declared.

January 28, 1994
After deliberating for 139 hours, Lyle’s jury is also deadlocked, and another mistrial is declared.

October 28, 1994
Judge Weisberg rules the retrial will begin March 13, 1995.

January 23, 1995
Judge Weisberg postpones the retrial to June 12.

April 3, 1995
Judge Weisberg rules that Lyle and Erik will be retried together before one jury.

May 3, 1995
Judge Weisberg postpones the retrial to August 16.

August 23, 1995
Jury selection begins in the retrial.

September 28, 1995
Jury selection ends, with five women and seven men seated as jurors in the retrial.

October 11, 1995
Trial begins. Opening statements by the prosecution and counsel for Erik.

October 12, 1995
Opening statement by counsel for Lyle. Prosecution begin case-in-chief.

November 20, 1995
Prosecution rest after presenting 30 witnesses. Defense case begins.

January 31, 1996
Defense rest after presenting 25 witnesses. Rebuttal phase begins.

February 16, 1996
Both sides rest, end of testimony.

February 20, 1996
Closing arguments begin.

February 29, 1996
Closing arguments conclude.

March 1, 1996
The jury is instructed on the law and begins deliberations.

March 14, 1996
Two jurors are replaced due to medical reasons. Jury deliberations begin anew.

March 20, 1996
Jury reaches verdicts after four days of deliberations. The jury finds Lyle and Erik guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The jury also finds true the special circumstance allegations that the brothers committed multiple murders and committed the murders while lying in wait.

March 27, 1996
Penalty phase begins. Opening statements made by the parties. Prosecution rest without calling any witnesses. Defense case begins.

April 10, 1996
Defense rest after presenting 18 witnesses. Prosecution call 3 witnesses in rebuttal and then rest.

April 11, 1996
Closing arguments begin.

April 12, 1996
Closing arguments conclude. The jury is instructed on the law and begins deliberations.

April 17, 1996
Jury reaches verdicts, rejects the death penalty and instead recommends that Lyle and Erik be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

July 2, 1996
Judge Weisberg sentences Lyle and Erik to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.