Two Modesto Residents Sentenced to Life for Stabbing Death of Co-Worker

Two Modesto Residents Sentenced to Life for Stabbing Death of Co-Worker

Two Modesto residents, Kate-Lynn Armstrong and Melissa Leonardo, have been sentenced to life in prison for the frenzied stabbing death of their 19-year-old co-worker, Lizette Andrea Cuesta. The incident occurred on February 12, 2018, on Tesla Road in unincorporated Livermore, California.

Cuesta was riding in a vehicle with Armstrong and Leonardo when Armstrong allegedly stabbed her 43 times with a large knife. Despite suffering from multiple stab wounds and severe blood loss, Cuesta managed to identify her attackers to passing motorists who stopped to help her.

Armstrong pleaded guilty to murder shortly after being charged, while Leonardo entered a no contest plea to second-degree murder. Both defendants were sentenced on September 19, 2023, at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, California. Armstrong received an additional year for using a knife during the murder.

The defendants and the victim were all co-workers at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant and had planned to hang out together on the day of the incident. Leonardo claimed that the stabbing occurred after Armstrong and Cuesta engaged in consensual sexual activity in the backseat of the car, stating that it did not bother her due to past experiences of infidelity.

Armstrong’s attorney attributed the stabbing to Armstrong’s mental illness, which produces hallucinations, and claimed that Leonardo’s comment triggered the attack. Leonardo’s attorney stated that his client did not participate in the stabbing and resolved the case by admitting to aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

The arrest of Armstrong and Leonardo took place shortly after the murder.


Author: CrimeDoor

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