Mistrial declared in bombing of Aliso Viejo day spa that left defendant's ex-girlfriend dead

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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A judge declared a mistrial in the case of a Long Beach man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and injuring two other people in the bombing of an Aliso Viejo day spa in 2018.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- With jurors unable to reach a verdict, a federal judge on Monday declared a mistrial in the case of a Long Beach man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and injuring two other people in the bombing of an Aliso Viejo day spa in 2018.

The mistrial was announced in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom where the trial of Stephen Beal was being held.

Federal prosecutors say they plan to retry the case, which is scheduled to return to court Oct. 18.

The 2018 explosion destroyed the Magyar Kozmetica spa and left its owner dead.

Prosecutors said the motive was a crime of passion. The spa owner, Ildiko Krajnyak, had previously broken up with Beal.

READ ALSO | Aliso Viejo deadly explosion likely an intentional act, official tells AP

The prosecution said Beal was obsessed and sent numerous emails, poems, letters and cards to Karjnyak. They said her friends had warned her that he was controlling and possessive.

Prosecutors also said Beal not only knew Krajnyak but also had access to the spa and had the specific skill set to be able to make a bomb. His hobby was model rockets.

In his home, investigators found 130 pounds of pyrotechnic chemicals.