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California Man To Spend Life In Prison For Abducting, Raping And Murdering Teen And Woman

A Los Angeles judge sentenced Geovanni Borjas to life without the possibility of parole for the deaths of teen Michelle Lozano and Bree'Anna Guzman in 2011.

By Caitlin Schunn
They Died Too Young: Teen Victims of Homicide

A man will spend the rest of his life in prison for abducting, raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman more than a decade ago.

Geovanni Borjas, 38, appeared emotionless on Monday as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler read the sentence, Los Angeles station KTLA reported

“An assortment of murderers that runs the gamut of every kind of murder, under every kind of circumstance — I’ve never found anyone as cold-blooded,” Fidler said, according to Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC. “There was no reason for these crimes.”

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Borjas pleaded no contest to the charges on Oct. 31, acknowledging there was strong evidence against him in the murders.

Michelle Lozano, 17, went missing on April 24, 2011, according to the district attorney’s office. Her naked body was found one day later near Interstate 5 in Boyle Heights, wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed inside a container, KTLA reported. She had been strangled to death.

FBI handouts of Michelle Lozano and Bree'Anna Guzman

Bree’Anna Guzman, a 22-year-old mother of two girls, stepped out to buy cough drops from a Lincoln Heights Rite Aid pharmacy when she vanished in late December 2011, her family told KTLA. Her body discovered about a month later near the Glendale Freeway.

Both victims were sexually assaulted, and DNA evidence found at both crime scenes tied the murders to each other and, eventually, to Borjas, the district attorney’s office said.

The state attorney general found the connection via a familial DNA search, which pointed to a familial relationship between the perpetrator and Borjas’ father, who had a criminal record.

Homicide detectives surveyed Borjas and managed to collect a sample of his saliva after watching him spit on a sidewalk. That saliva matched the DNA evidence collected at the crime scenes and was key to securing the conviction, Oxygen.com reported.

Borjas was arrested in 2017, but his trial was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, KTLA said.

A police handout of Geovanni Borjas

Loved ones of the victims gave statements at Borjas’ sentencing.

“I sometimes cry when I see young moms with their kids just having a good old time,” Guzman’s father, Richard Duran, said at the sentencing, KABC reported. “I just stare at them thinking, ‘That should be Bree’Anna.’”

“And you smirk as if these are lies brought on you,” Duran said in court, according to KABC. “Don’t forget, you disgusting, gross pervert, that DNA says otherwise.”

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Guzman’s cousin also spoke to Borjas in court.

“I just want it to be accounted for that our pain will never be healed,” Mariana Salas said, according to KABC-TV. “Some sort of justice is being served today, but when it is your day, and it’s your final day, and God has that calling, that’s when justice will truly be served.”

“This is just a chapter that is going to close right now, and I can begin my grieving because I was on a mission,” Darlene Duran, Guzman’s mother, told KTLA. 

Lozano’s stepbrother, Jose Banuelos, spoke at the hearing, thanking detectives, the prosecutors, and “you, your honor, for giving us this gift of justice this holiday season,” KABC reported.

“Both families have endured a tremendous and incalculable loss,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a press release. “The pain for the victims’ families will never go away, but I want to make sure they continue to receive the services they need as they move forward. Mr. Borjas finally took account for his heinous actions.”

His office had originally seeking the death penalty — something Guzman’s sister wanted, KTLA reported — but gollowing  Gascon's election, it reversed course and opted not to pursue capital punishment, according to Oxygen.com reporting.

Guzman’s family called that decision a “slap in the face,” KABC-TV reported.

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