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Man guilty of killing wife, microwaving pet dog

June 15, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

A 46-year-old Glendale man who killed his wife and microwaved his Pomeranian before fleeing the state was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree murder, officials said.

Jurors deliberated for less than two days before finding John Levin guilty of killing his wife, Michelle Levin, with a knife, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

John Levin pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty for microwaving his dog before jurors returned with a verdict.

Attempts to reach his attorney, deputy public defender Katherine Nicole Bonaguidi, were unsuccessful Wednesday.

He is expected to be sentenced July 19 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena. He faces 16 years to life in prison for both counts, Robison said.

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The murder occurred Sept. 8, 2009, in the couple’s two-story condominium in the 200 block of West Fairview Avenue.

Officers discovered 35-year-old Michelle Levin’s body three days later inside the apartment after police received a call from someone concerned about the couple’s whereabouts.

John Levin was caught at the Canadian border Sept. 12, 2009.

During a preliminary hearing, officers testified that they found the home littered with dog excrement, rotting food and numerous pills scattered on a table.

They eventually found Michelle Levin's body on the floor next to the bed inside a locked second-floor bedroom. Los Angeles County coroner’s investigators determined she died from being stabbed.

The couple's Pomeranian died after it was stuffed inside a microwave that was turned on for an undetermined amount of time, officials said.

Detectives said in court that John Levin eventually admitted poking himself in the chest with a knife to make it appear as though it was a defensive wound after stabbing his wife.
 

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