Jury chosen in trial of Long Beach man charged with fatal spa bombing

A jury was chosen on Wednesday in the trial of a Long Beach man charged with the 2018 Aliso Viejo day spa bombing that killed his ex-girlfriend and seriously injured two other women.

Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday morning in the downtown Los Angeles trial of 63-year-old Stephen Beal, who faces federal charges of use of a weapon of mass destruction, malicious destruction of a building resulting in death, use of a destructive device in a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The first two counts carry potential sentences of life in prison without parole, while the other two carry sentences of 30 and 10 years in prison, respectively, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Beal was arrested in March 2019 in connection with the May 15, 2018 explosion in Aliso Viejo that killed Ildiko Krajnyak, 48, who co-owned Magyar Kozmetica day spa with Beal.

Federal officials allege Beal threatened the woman after she admitted to being in a relationship with another man. They also claim that pieces of wire found at the scene of the bombing matched wire discovered during a search of Beal’s home. About a week before the explosion, Beal was seen on surveillance video buying the type of battery used in the explosive device, according to federal prosecutors.

Beal also allegedly bought three cardboard boxes similar to the one that contained the bomb, and federal officials say he was one of the few people with access to the company and was seen at the spa days before. the blast.

FBI officials said Krajnyak was killed when she opened a cardboard box near the reception of the Magyar Kozmetica day spa, setting off the explosive device inside. Two other women inside the company were seriously injured.

Beal has been in federal custody since his arrest.

When investigators searched his home after the blast, they reported finding two improvised explosive devices, three unregistered firearms and more than 100 pounds of explosive material. Beal attributed the items to his hobby of building and launching model rockets.

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