Southern California man convicted of 2018 spa bombing that killed ex-girlfriend

A Southern California man was convicted Wednesday of blowing up his ex-girlfriend’s spa business with a package bomb in 2018, killing her and seriously injuring two clients.

A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Stephen Beal of four felony counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office.

Beal could face at least 30 years and up to life in prison when he is sentenced in November.

He was retried after a mistrial was declared last year when the jury deadlocked.

Beal, 64, of Long Beach, was accused of killing Ildiko Krajnyak on May 15, 2018, with a homemade package bomb that he blew into his Aliso Viejo spa, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Los Angeles. .

Krajnyak, 48, died in the fiery explosion when he opened the box. Two clients, a mother and a daughter, who had just been treated fell to the ground.

The explosion destroyed the business and ripped off a large chunk of the building. Body parts were found in the parking lot.

Beal, a partner in the salon business, was jealous that Krajnyak had been seeing someone else after their 18-month relationship ended, and developed a “plan to destroy her,” U.S. Attorney Annamartine Salick said in an opening statement at Beal’s first trial.

While Krajnyak was in Hungary visiting family, Beal left the bomb at the spa for her to open when she returned, according to the US attorney’s statement.

A day after the explosion, investigators searched Beal’s home and found more than 130 pounds (59 kilograms) of explosive mixtures and chemical precursors, according to the statement.

“Beal had years of experience building high-powered model rockets and homemade pyrotechnics,” the statement said. “Laboratory tests determined that the explosive mixture Beal used in the bomb came from the same chemicals he had in his house.”

Beal was also found guilty of malicious destruction of a building resulting in death, use of a destructive device during and in connection with a crime of violence, and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

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