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Los Angeles man sentenced for killing mother and uncle

April 19, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man who shot his uncle and strangled his mother, then staged her suicide, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

Marcel Gradvohl, 38, was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest to two counts of first-degree murder, prosecutors said.

Police were called to the family home in the Sylmar area in November 2021, where Gradvohl told them he had found his mother, 67-year-old Maureen Gradvohl, hanging from a rope in the garage.

However, authorities said the woman’s injuries weren’t consistent with suicide. Investigators also found a body buried in the backyard after learning that Gradvohl had been seen digging there several days earlier.

Police said Gradvohl confessed that he shot and killed his uncle, Edward Steckel, 58, during an argument, strangled his mother, then buried Steckel the next day and staged his mother’s suicide.