BEVERLY HILLS—A Beverly Hills man was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 2011 and could face life in prison. The victim wrote his initials using her own blood.
James Duane Grzeslo, 59, was found guilty on one count of first-degree murder on Wednesday, August 10, in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Cathy Ann Carrasco-Zanini, 58, a private bookkeeper and mother of one.
Carrasco-Zanini was found dead—in a pool of her own blood on October 26, 2011 in her Beverly Hills apartment, located at 123 North Hamilton Drive. Her throat was slit and she died from the injuries she sustained, the complaint alleged.
On the day of the murder, Grzeslo told his anger management counselor, Marty Brenner, “I think I killed my girlfriend,” the LA Weekly reported. Brenner then contacted the Beverly Hills Police Department and they rushed to Carrasco-Zanini’s apartment to carry out a welfare check.
Law enforcement officials arrived to the scene at approximately 1:48 p.m. and found Carrasco-Zanini dead—clutching a phone cord connected to a phone that had been unplugged, according to reports.
The victim, as she was bleeding out, crawled down a hallway and wrote the defendant’s initials—JG—in her own blood on the floor. Grzeslo was detained and arrested at Brenner’s office shortly after by BHPD Officer Douglas Trerise on the basis of his suspicious statements.
Grzeslo told everyone—including his ex-wives—that he was a cardiothoracic surgeon at the neonatal intensive care unit at UCLA medical center and a decorated Vietnam veteran, LA Weekly reported. The defendant was a registered nurse, whose license was revoked after his arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys David Zygielbaum and Linda Loftfield. Grzeslo was held in lieu of a $1 million bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19 at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles and is expected to face 26 years to life in state prison.