A California man was jailed for detonating a bomb that killed his girlfriend and injured the eye of another victim

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A 64-year-old man, Stephen Beal, has been sentenced to life in federal prison for his role in the 2018 bombing of a spa, which resulted in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Ildiko Krajnyak, and significant damage to a commercial office building. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California revealed that Beal was convicted on multiple charges, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and malicious destruction of a building resulting in death.

In addition to the life sentence, Beal received 30 years for using a destructive device during a crime of violence and 10 years for possession of an unregistered destructive device. The jury delivered a guilty verdict in July 2023 following a four-week trial.

The incident involved Beal leaving a package bomb at Magyar Kozmetika, a day spa owned by his ex-girlfriend. Krajnyak opened the box, resulting in her immediate death. Two spa clients, a mother and daughter, suffered severe injuries, including burns and the loss of an eye.

During the trial, a surviving victim testified that she witnessed Krajnyak opening the package just before the explosion. The victims managed to escape through a blown-out wall caused by the bomb, reported CBC News.

Law enforcement officials discovered over 130 pounds of explosive precursor chemicals, bomb mixtures, electric matches, and wires at Beal’s home after the explosion. Beal, with experience in creating high-powered model rockets and pyrotechnics, was linked to the materials used in the bomb. Surveillance footage showed him purchasing a 9-volt battery and cardboard boxes before the bombing.

Prosecutors argued that Beal, who had dated Krajnyak for 18 months, became obsessed with her after she tried to distance herself. He monitored her online schedule and social media accounts, had a key to the day spa, and entered the establishment multiple times before the bombing while Krajnyak was abroad.

Krajnyak’s family and associates testified during the trial, describing Beal as controlling and possessive, expressing concerns for her safety. United States District Judge Josephine Staton, during Beal’s hearing, remarked on the “cold, calculated nature” of the crime.

Beal is scheduled to appear in court on April 12 for a restitution determination. In a separate case, he pleaded guilty in November 2023 to wire fraud, Social Security fraud, and concealment of bankruptcy assets, admitting to fraudulently collecting $1.3 million in disability payments. Sentencing for this case is set for February 23.

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