The Menendez brothers filed a petition to possibly get out of jail

erik menendez and lyle menendez in a paneled room, erik wears a glazed sweater and a salmon colored sweater over a green and white striped collar shirt, lyle wears a blue sweater over a yellow and white striped collar shirt

New evidence could free the Menendez brothersGetty Images

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Lawyers for convicted killers Lyle and Erik Menendez have asked Los Angeles Superior Court to review and possibly overturn the brothers’ murder convictions in light of new evidence they say validates claims that their father sexually abused them for years.

Lyle, 55, and Erik, 52, were convicted of first degree murder in 1996 for the murders of their parents, José and Mary Louise “Kitty” Menendez. The brothers shot them dead in their Beverly Hills mansion on August 20, 1989, allegedly so they could inherit their parents’ $14 million estate.

However, the brothers claimed the murders were “flawed self-defense” after a lifetime of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their parents. After their first trial resulted in a hung jury, the abuse allegations were narrowed in the second trial and prosecutors insisted the abuse allegations were a lie. The brothers were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Now the brothers’ attorneys point to two new pieces of evidence that they say support the abuse allegations. One is a newly discovered letter that Erik wrote, just eight months before the murders. In addition, the lawyers refer to allegations in the recently aired docuseries Menendez + Menudo: Betrayed Boys in which a former member of boy band Menudo alleges that José Menendez, who was an executive at RCA Records, also targeted him.

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“In short, the new evidence not only shows that José Menendez was a very violent and brutal man who sexually abused children, but it strongly suggests that in fact he was still abusing Erik Menendez until December 1988. Just like the defense had argued from the start,” reads a motion filed by the Menendez brothers’ attorneys on May 3.

Letter from Erik: “I tried to avoid dad”

Last month, a judge asked the Los Angeles County prosecutor’s office to file an informal response to the defense attorneys’ motion, according to The Los Angeles Times. The office prepares a response, after which the judge should rule on the request.

Lawyers for the Menendez brothers are asking the judge to overturn the convictions and sentences, or allow a rehearing of evidence regarding the abuse allegations.

The newly discovered letter written by Erik Menendez was discovered by José Menendez’s sister, Marta Cano. It had been sent to his son, Andy Cano, who had been close to his cousins ​​and testified at their trials. In the letter, Erik describes the ongoing sexual abuse by his father and the resulting emotional toll.

“I tried to avoid dad. It’s still happening Andy, but it’s worse for me now,” the letter read. ” I can not explain it. He [sic] so overweight that I can’t bear to see him. I never know. When it’s gonna happen and it’s driving me crazy. Every night I lay awake thinking he might come in. I have to get him out of my mind.

Andy died of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills in January 2003, when he was 29. His mother, Marta, said Andy had been ‘traumatized’ by the murders and subsequent trials and could not cope with his cousins’ incarceration. “I have no doubt in my mind that Andy died because of them,” she said.

Roy Rosselló: ‘I know what he did to me’

roy rossello wearing a blue sleeveless suit, crossing his arms and smiling at the camera

Roy Rosselló, seen in a portrait for Menudo in 1985, claims José Menendez sexually assaulted him when he was 14.Getty Images

Roy Rosselló, 52, former member of boy band Menudo, said in the Peacock docuseries Menendez + Menudo: Betrayed Boys that José Menendez assaulted him in the mid-1980s, when he was 14 years old. He claimed that the band’s manager arranged a visit to Menendez’s house, during which Menendez drugged and raped him.

“I know what he did to me in his house,” Rosselló said in a clip from the docuseries. In another scene, he pointed to Menendez in a photo and said, “That’s the man here who raped me. This guy. He’s the pedophile.

Prosecutors in Lyle and Erik’s second trial say ‘the abuse never happened’ and that Jose was not the ‘kind of man who would abuse his sons’, according to the motion filed by the lawyers brothers. They claim the newly found letter and Rosselló’s new claims say otherwise.

“To solve this case, the jurors had to decide a single crucial question: Did José Menendez assault his sons? writes the lawyer. “The jurors who made this decision were unaware of Erik’s letter to his cousin Andy, and they were unaware that Jose Menendez had previously raped a 14-year-old boy.”

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