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DA’s office: Motive for Grover Beach murder was financial gain

Posted at 8:59 PM, Jan 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 00:09:00-05

Prosecutors have filed an allegation of ‘Special Circumstances’ in its murder case against Levente Laszlo Lazar, saying he was motivated by financial gain. Lazar is accused of fatally stabbing his mother in Grover Beach in October.

A special circumstance allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty if Lazar is convicted. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow says they plan to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lazar’s mother, Athena Valentiny, 64, was stabbed to death in her home on or around Oct. 24, authorities said.

Athena Valentiny
Athena Valentiny

Her body was discovered Oct. 25 during a welfare check at the home on the 200 block of South 9th Street.

26-year-old Lazar was arrested Nov. 6 following a joint investigation by the Grover Beach Police Department and San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, of Bloomington, Indiana

Lazar, an Indiana resident, made his first court appearance in December.