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Man convicted of killing parents after mother found out he was flunking

December 20, 1997

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A man was convicted Friday of beating his parents to death after his mother found out he was flunking out of college.

After four days of deliberations, a jury found 20-year-old Alex Valentine guilty of murder in the August 1996 slayings of his parents.

He faces a life prison term without the possibility of parole at his Feb. 11 sentencing.

The battered bodies of Diane Valentine, 55, and Kenneth Valentine, 51, were found inside their water purification systems business in Mira Mesa.

Prosecutors said Valentine was flunking out of Harvey Mudd College and lied on admission applications to the University of California, Berkeley. He killed his parents so he could continue living a life of fraud after his mother found out about his grades, prosecutor Rebecca Blair said.

``It was so important to him what people thought of him,″ Ms. Blair said.

Defense attorney Gene Iredale said he plans to appeal.

He said detectives lied about getting a confession.

``It came down to his word against two sworn police officers,″ Iredale said.