Lynette LaFontaine-Trujillo Murder: Where is Nicole Garza Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Killer Closer: Deadly Dessert’ chronicles the murder of Lynette Marie LaFontaine-Trujillo in Los Angeles, California, in September 1996. A surprising chain of events led to her death, which was described as “a Kafka story with its darkness, with its twists and with its turns” in the trial. The episode shows the viewer through the complicated events and the investigation that led up to the capture of her killer. If you want to learn the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, we’ve you covered. Let’s delve in then, shall we?

How Did Lynette LaFontaine-Trujillo Die?

Lynette Marie laFontaine-Trujillo, was born December 14, 1961 in Westwood, Los Angeles County, California to Cynthia Berken, a Sherman Oaks second-grade teacher. Lynette had a younger sister, Nicole Garza. Nicole was a divorce and family lawyer. Nicole was Lynette’s lawyer when she divorced Miguel Trujillo. It was reported that her younger sister exhibited an overwhelming influence over Lynette – the very thing that would result in Lynette’s death a few years later. Lynette was a mother to three boys who lived with each of their fathers at the time she died.

Image Credit: Robert/Find A Cemetery

Jose Garza, a Los Angeles veteran prosecutor, was Nicole’s husband. She had three children ranging in age from 18 months to 4 years. According to the show, Nicole and Jose had sex on September 25, 1996. After that, she asked Jose to bring her husband an ice cream bar from their Sylmar garage. Jose arrived at the garage around 11pm. However, he became suspicious when he heard his family dogs barking.

Jose entered the garage using a semiautomatic gun. He was then ambushed by an assailant and shot at. Jose was hit three times by the assailant’s bullets, but he made no mistake and killed the man. Police arrived on the scene to find the assailant unconscious in a dark sweatshirt and black wig. They brought the hooded man to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where detectives were amazed to find the culprit.

Who Killed Lynette Trujillo-LaFontaine?

The assailant was identified as Lynette LaFontaine-Trujillo, Nicole’s sister; she had been fatally shot in her abdomen. Lynette did not ever regain consciousness as she died in the hospital on October 7, 1996, about two weeks later from the incident in her brother-in-law’s garage. Lynette lived in Sherman Oaks with Cynthia at the time and was a waitress. The investigators at the crime scene had discovered Lynette’s blood and gun on the garage floor.

They also discovered a wristband that contained a key for a Ford Bronco. They searched the surrounding area in search of the vehicle to help their investigation. Meanwhile, the authorities came to know of the assailant’s identity. The Garcia couple were taken to the police station, where they were interrogated in separate rooms. When their interrogators also learned of the assailant’s identity, they did not straightaway reveal it to the couple, as per the show.

Jose kept asking why Lynette was being included in the discussions, but instead the authorities started to ask important questions about Lynette. Nicole, on the other hand, was lying in a lazily in interrogation and did not seem to be bothered by the bizarre line of questioning. This made her a probable suspect.

In a surprising turn of events, the detectives found several notes, that bore detailed instructions as to how to carry out the murder of Jose, in the passenger seat of Lynette’s car. They were damp and torn, and had no salutations or signatures. To tie the notes to Nicole, forensic analysts used handwriting samples analysis and jigsaw puzzles to piece together the notes. She was arrested on the charge of attempted murder of her husband on September 27, 1996, and murder charges were added to it on October 8 after Lynette’s death.

Where is Nicole Garza today?

Nicole Garza initially plead not guilty to the first charge but then pleaded no defense to the second count in January 1997 in order to get her released quickly and shield her children from further public attention. She was sentenced to minimum 6 years for voluntary manslaughter and to 15 years for attempted murder on January 23, 1997. She is now in her late 50s. Nicole was released after serving her entire sentence. According to reports, Nicole was married once more and moved to Arizona where she lives with her family.

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