19-year-old confesses to Livermore murder of Lizette Cuesta

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- There was a shocking confession in court in Dublin where a 19-year-old man pleaded guilty to murdering 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta on Tesla Road in Livermore back in February. She was stabbed to death.

Cuesta's father sat in disbelief as he took in the news that one of the two suspects accused of murdering his daughter was entering a guilty plea in court. Daniel Gross, 19, solemnly faced the judge Thursday in his jailhouse garb as the charges were read aloud.

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And then he loudly replied, murder -- guilty. Assault with a deadly weapon -- guilty. Causing great bodily harm -- guilty. The charges could potentially put him away in prison for life.

Gross' attorney Eric Mirzaian said, "Daniel has been committed to accepting responsibility for his friend's death and he proved that when he confessed to police at the outset and has proven it today by entering his guilty plea."

Earlier in the day Gross' pregnant fiancé, 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo, entered a not guilty plea to the same murder.

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It was back in February that 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta was found mortally wounded and crawling along a rural stretch of Tesla Road in Livermore. She had been stabbed repeatedly. She later died at the hospital after giving authorities the names of the two people she said allegedly attacked her with a knife. Gross and Leonardo were later arrested at a home in Modesto and charged with the murder.

Days after his daughter's death, Ray Cuesta told ABC7 News, "Now they have to pay for what they did. That won't bring her back but at least they won't be running around in the streets."

The DAs office indicated they intend to pursue sentencing the case as a first-degree murder. There will be no trial. Gross will be back in court on June 11.
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