Prosecutor Says Long Beach Man Accused in Aliso Viejo Spa Bombing Was Infatuated With Victim – Los Angeles

Long Beach man was “obsessed and infatuated” with the owner of an Aliso Viejo day spa built a powerful bomb that killed the woman and injured two others after she broke up with him, a prosecutor told a federal jury Thursday — but a defense lawyer said the FBI arrested the wrong person and ignored “obvious suspects.”

Stephen Beal (63), is facing federal charges in Los Angeles for use of weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of buildings resulting in death. He also faces charges of using a destructive device in violence and possessing an unregistered destructive instrument.

Beal was taken into custody in March 2019 for the May 15, 2018 explosion that resulted in the death of Ildiko Krajnyak (48), who owned the Magyar Kozmetica spa and left a critically injured mother and daughter.

Annamartine Salick, Assistant U.S. Atty., stated in her opening statement that this case was about obsession, love, and control.

The prosecution said that Krajnyak, who had rejected Beal and was openly gay, “channeled” his shame into a plot to take revenge.

According to FBI officials, Krajnyak was found dead when she opened a cardboard container near the Magyar Kozmetica Spa’s front desk. This activated the explosive device within. Krajnyak was thrown apart by the explosion and the building was destroyed.

Craig Harbaugh, the defense attorney, stated that the FBI wanted to “find the person responsible as quickly as possible”. After hearing about the explosion, the defendant called police and requested three interviews.

Stephen William Beal is accused in failing to report $350,000 from his wife’s passing. Eric Leonard reports for NBC4 News Thursday, February 6, 2020.

Beal “had nothing to hide,” Harbaugh said in his presentation, alleging that the FBI “”Ignored clear evidence that Mr. Beal was innocent.”

According to defense, Beal did not intend to harm Krajnyak.

“They were lovers, close friends and business partners,” Harbaugh said. “She was a sweetheart and Mr. Beal didn’t have a bad word for her. She loved their relationship and so did he.

Beal was adamant as the attorneys spoke.

Salick explained to the jury that she had found pieces of wire at the bombing scene. They matched wire found during a search in Beal’s house. The federal prosecutor stated that Beal was captured by surveillance camera buying the type battery used in the explosive device a week before it happened.
  

Beal also bought three boxes of cardboard similar to that which contained the bomb. Federal officials say he was among the few to have access and was seen at a spa days before the blast.
  

Harbaugh said that Harbaugh had told jurors his client had a history in building and launching “hobby missiles” and making fireworks. But, the wire and other materials found in Harbaugh’s home did not have any connection to the bomb.
  

Investigators said that they found two improvised explosives devices, three unregistered guns, and more than 100 pounds explosive material at Beal’s house following the explosion.

“What Mr. Beal did for fun, the FBI viewed as a threat,” the defense attorney said. “The FBI also made an instant judgment.

To show Beal’s “burning obsession”‘ with Krajnyak the prosecutor played a portion a tape where the defendant was reading a poem he wrote to the victim.

“I love that we will grow old together,” the poem read. “You are my last sound before I go to bed. You are the best thing for me. I feel complete.
  

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Beal could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted.

Since his arrest, he is currently in federal custody.

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