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Erik Menendez Seeks New Trial

September 27, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Erik Menendez, serving a life sentence for the murder of his wealthy parents, wants a new trial that would allow him to include claims he was abused.

Menendez, 31, has filed a motion in federal court to have his conviction overturned, he told Barbara Walters in an interview airing Friday on the ABC news magazine ``20/20.″

``I didn’t receive a fair trial,″ Menendez said in the telephone interview from a Sacramento prison. ``All I wanted was for the jury to hear all of the evidence.″

In 1996, Menendez and 34-year-old older brother, Lyle were convicted of first-degree murder in the 1989 shooting deaths of Kitty and Jose Menendez at their Beverly Hills home.

The brothers’ first trial ended with a hung jury. In the second trial, the judge threw out much of the defense case alleging that the father, an entertainment industry executive, sexually abused Erik.

Erik Menendez told Walters he remains remorseful about the murders.

``I’ll punish myself for the rest of my life. I hate myself,″ he said. ``I wish to God I could throw myself down on my knees and beg that we could go back in time, that I could change what I did. I killed them and I love them.″

His wife, Tammi, whom he married three years ago in a prison ceremony, said she’s selling her house to raise money for Menendez’s court challenges. The Menendez family fortune, estimated at $14 million, was gone by the time the first trial took place, Erik Menendez said.

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