Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Menendez Brothers

The Aftermath

On August 2, 1996, Dr. William Vicary was removed from the panel of mental health professionals appointed by Los Angeles Superior County judges to analyze and testify about defendants in court cases. A ten-member committee made up of Superior Court judges reviewed the transcripts of the Menendez brothers' retrial and decided that Vicary's "continued participation on the panel was inappropriate." Later, the California State Medical Board sued Vicary in an attempt to revoke his license. Vicary was able to reach an agreement with the Medical Board to retain his license after admitting that he acted unethically during the Menendez case.

On September 10, 1996, the California Department of Corrections separated the Menendez brothers. Lyle was bussed from the North Kern State Prison to the California Correctional Institution near Tehachapi and Erik was bussed to the California State Prison, near Sacramento. Lyle and Erik were segregated from other prisoners and classified as maximum-security inmates.

Leslie Abramson was critical of the Department of Corrections decision to separate the brothers and said that the move was "unduly cruel and punitive." On the other hand, Les Zoeller said that he was "pleased the brothers finally are apart." Zoeller added, "I think that by putting them together, everybody's at risk."

On January 26, 1997, David Conn was notified that he would be transferred to the Norwalk office of the district attorney's office. After the Menendez verdicts, Conn gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times were he stated that he "wouldn't mind one day being the Los Angeles district attorney." Conn was later passed over for promotion and removed as acting head deputy of the major crimes unit. Conn said he was humiliated that he was not promoted and he backed an opponent of Gil Garcetti's in the November 1996 Los Angeles district attorney's race.

On October 13, 1997, after an 11-month investigation, Leslie Abramson learned that she would not be prosecuted by the Los Angeles district attorney's office for requesting that Dr. Vicary delete sections of his notes during the retrial of the brothers.

In 1997, Dr. Oziel surrendered his psychotherapist's license and moved from California to another state.

On February 27, 1998, the California Court of Appeals upheld the murder convictions of Lyle and Erik Menendez. The court's opinion established no new precedents and found that Judge Weissberg made no errors in a series of controversial rulings that limited the defense testimony about the brothers' upbringing and mental states during the retrial. The opinion was not published in official law reports and indicated that the justices on the Court of Appeals did not intend to create any legal precedents that could apply to future cases.

On May 28, 1998, the California Supreme Court voted to uphold the murder convictions and life-without-parole sentences of Lyle and Erik Menendez. None of the Supreme Court justices voted to review the case. Lyle's appellate lawyer, Cliff Gardner, said that he planned to file an appeal in federal court.

In 1998, David Conn left the district attorney's office for private practice.

On February 9, 1999, the State Bar of California closed its three year investigation of Leslie Abramson after deciding that there was insufficient evidence to conclude she violated ethical rules in the Menendez brothers retrial.

Anna Eriksson (AP)
Anna Eriksson (AP)

As of July 1999, Lyle is 31 and works as a janitor at the California Corrections Institution near Tehachapi. His 1996 marriage to Anna Eriksson fell apart after less than a year. Erik is now 29 and works as a groundskeeper at the California State Prison outside of Sacramento. According to their aunt, Marta Menendez-Cano, "in prison they're perceived as a couple of rich guys and people hate them."

Leslie Abramson continues to practice criminal law in Los Angeles. She recently defended Jeremy Strohmeyer, the teenager who killed a young girl in a Nevada casino. She also appears as a court commentator on ABC's Nightline and on Court TV.

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