Iliana Alvarez received her undergraduate degree from USC and her J.D. from Hastings. Before joining the Sex Crimes Division in 2005 she was assigned to Downey, West Covina, Newhall, Sylmar Juvenile and CT-15.
Teresa De Castro received her undergraduate degree from the Michigan and her J.D. from Tulane. She was assigned to El Monte, Beverly Hills, Inglewood Juvenile, Airport Branch and CT-13 before she joined the Sex Crimes Division in 2009.
Teresa and Iliana are jointly receiving Deputy District Attorney of the Month award based on their convictions and death verdict in the case of People v. Kevin Haley.
In 1984, Haley committed two sexual assault murders against two separate victims, Laverne Stolzy (56) and Dolores Clement (55). Both women were home alone at night when Haley attacked. He raped and sodomized Ms. Stolzy, then bashed in her head with a 2×4. Three months later, Haley raped Ms. Clement and strangled her to death.
Prior to the murders, Haley committed a series of violent crimes. He assaulted a young couple on their first date. He robbed the man at gunpoint, then raped the woman. On another occasion, Haley shot a female jogger multiple times when she struggled to flee. On yet another occasion, Haley forcibly orally copulated and strangled an elderly woman in her own home.
Sadly, cases like this are not rare in Los Angeles County. What distinguishes this case is the tortuous history it took through the criminal justice system.
In 1988, Haley was convicted of the Clement murder and sentenced to death. The jury hung on the Stolzy murder, but, in light of the death sentence, the decision was made not to re-try Haley for the Stolzy murder.
However, in 2004, Haley’s death sentence for the Clement murder was reversed. Sixteen years later, back he came for retrial on the penalty phase. In 2006, the decision was made to again seek the death penalty. The newly assigned prosecutor on the case (now a sitting judge) successfully sought reconsideration of the decision not to re-try the Stolzy murder. A new case was filed charging Haley with the murder/rape of Laverne Stolzy.
Enter Iliana and Teresa.
What they inherited from the former DDA were two cases—the original case, pending retrial of the penalty phase as to victim Clement, and a second filing of the murder of victim Stolzy, for which we were also seeking the death penalty, plus the myriad 1101(b)/penalty phase incidents and witnesses.
The logistics of the case were daunting. There were transcripts, motions, delays, and more delays. It took five years for the Stolzy case to go to prelim, and many more months before a motion to consolidate was granted. Finally, 30 years after the murders were committed, both cases were together under the original case number.
Iliana and Teresa first had to prove up the Stolzy murder, using the Clement murder as 1101(b) evidence. After a month-long trial, Haley was convicted of the Stolzy murder and the special circumstances were found true.
Then came the penalty phase for both murders. Iliana and Teresa proceeded with transcripts and other witnesses to piece together the time-line of Haley’s reign of terror. After a two-month trial and penalty phase, the jury came back with a recommendation of death for Kevin Haley.
Did I mention that, all along, Haley was pro per?
Throughout it all, Iliana and Teresa never lost sight of their mission to bring justice, 30 years later, to the families of Laverne Stolzy and Dolores Clement.
Congratulations Iliana and Teresa!