Crime

Man accused of stabbing his mother to death in Grover Beach returns to face murder charge

Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, was arraigned in after being booked Thursday following an extradition from Bloomington, Indiana, where he was arrested by San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and Grover Beach police investigator Nov. 6. He’s charged in the alleged murder of his mother, Athena Ilona Valentiny. The hearing was continued as Lazar looks to hire an attorney. David Middlecamp 12-10-2018
Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, was arraigned in after being booked Thursday following an extradition from Bloomington, Indiana, where he was arrested by San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and Grover Beach police investigator Nov. 6. He’s charged in the alleged murder of his mother, Athena Ilona Valentiny. The hearing was continued as Lazar looks to hire an attorney. David Middlecamp 12-10-2018 dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The son of a Grover Beach woman found stabbed to death in her home in October appeared in San Luis Obispo court for the first time Monday.

Levente Laszlo Lazar, of Bloomington, Indiana, entered no plea Monday before Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett, who continued Lazar’s arraignment while the defendant seeks private legal counsel.

Lazar remains in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he’s being held without bail. He’s due back in court Dec. 17.

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Athena Ilona Valentiny, 64, of Grover Beach, was found stabbed to death in the 200 block of South 9th Street. Grover Beach Police Department

Lazar, 26, was extradited to San Luis Obispo County on Thursday from Indiana to face a single charge of murder for the stabbing death of Athena Ilona Valentiny, who was found in her home in the 200 block of South 9th Street on Oct. 25 after police arrived at the residence to conduct a welfare check, according to the Grover Beach Police Department.

Lazar is suspected of killing his 64-year-old mother and fleeing to Bloomington, where San Luis Obispo County authorities traveled to interview him and serve a search warrant.

Investigators arrested Lazar on Nov. 6 on suspicion of the murder and booked him at the Monroe County Correctional Center in Bloomington pending extradition to San Luis Obispo County.

The same day, the District Attorney’s Office filed a single count of murder against Lazar, a charge that carries a sentencing enhancement involving the alleged use of a knife. If convicted, Lazar faces the possibility of life in prison, according to court records.

Officials have not disclosed a possible motive.

Valentiny was a licensed vocational nurse at the California Men’s Colony, according to a spokeswoman there. Valentiny had been employed at the prison since 2013, but had been with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2011. She previously worked at California State Prison, Corcoran.

Matt Fountain: 781-7909, @mattfountain1
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