Father of woman fatally stabbed in Livermore says daughter brought herself justice

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An emotional outburst happened Wednesday afternoon in court when the suspects in the murder of 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta made their first appearance. (KGO-TV)

An emotional outburst happened Wednesday afternoon in court when the suspects in the murder of 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta made their first appearance.

With Lizette's grieving father inside the courtroom in the front row, all the bailiffs deems focused on him but it was a young woman sitting behind him with the family who jumped up and screamed expletives at Melissa Leonardo, including the words "you'll get what you deserve."

Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, did not enter pleas.


RELATED: Friends, family mourn 19-year-old Livermore homicide victim

Lizette was found crawling along Tesla Road in Livermore early Monday with multiple stab wounds. She died a few hours later.

It was a brief but emotional hearing as three families touched by the murder of Lizette sat just feet from one another in a Dublin courtroom.

Each left without talking to reporters after the arraignment for Gross and Leonardo was put off until Thursday.

"We weren't ready for this," Lizette's father, Ray Cuesta, told ABC7 News as he stood in the doorway of his Tracy home.

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"We weren't ready for this," said Ray Cuesta as he stood in the doorway of his Tracy home.

RELATED: Neighbors describe moments as Livermore murder suspects arrested

Lizette was found stabbed multiple times along Livermore's Tesla Road. She died a few hours later, but not before identifying the people who allegedly attacked her.



"How tough she was, how strong she was, she showed that at the end, always," Ray Cuesta said.

Alameda County Sheriff's investigators say Lizette was able to speak near the end, enough to provide detectives with two names.

RELATED: Victim, suspects in Livermore homicide identified

"She never gave up, she brought herself justice. She made sure the people got caught, to pay for what they did. It won't bring her back, but at least they're not out there running around on the streets," Ray Cuesta said.

Gross and Leonardo are both charged with murder, Gross with a special allegation of using a knife.

They are expected back in court on Thursday morning.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of Lizette Cuesta. Click here for more information.


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murderstabbinghomicidehomicide investigationarrestcourtcourt caseLivermore
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