Joseph Lyle Menéndez (born January 10, 1968) and Erik Galen Menéndez (born November 27, 1970) are American brothers from Beverly Hills, California, who were convicted in a high-profile criminal trial in 1994 for the 1989 murder by shotgun of their wealthy parents, entertainment executive José Menéndez and his wife Mary ("Kitty"). Although the brothers were not considered to be suspects at first, they attracted the attention of authorities as they spent their deceased parents' fortune lavishly after the murders.
During the trial, the brothers claimed that the murders stemmed from years of sexual and emotional abuse that they had suffered at the hands of their parents. They were first tried by two different juries (one for each brother). Both juries deadlocked, which led to a mistrial. For the second trial, they were tried by the same jury, which rejected the defense's claim. The brothers were then sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.