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No State Court Review for Highland Park Murderer

The California Supreme Court last week refused to review the case against a former Highland Park resident convicted of murdering two men and leaving their bodies in a car he abandoned on a Pasadena street and then carjacking a woman who tried to fight him off because her puppy was in her car.

Manuel Penaloza was convicted in September 2011 of first-degree murder for the execution-style slayings of two of his friends, Francisco Regalado and Joe Malta.

Jurors also convicted Penaloza of grand theft of Regalado’s Honda Accord and committing a carjacking after crashing the victim’s vehicle.

Penaloza — who is serving two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole plus 62 years and eight months to life— was extradited from Mexico after authorities got a tip that he was hiding in a small town in Guerrero, where he was arrested in August 2009.