Erik Menendez, one of the two brothers convicted in 1996 of shooting and killing their parents in 1989, is now spreading the Gospel to his fellow inmates.
Erik and his older brother, Lyle Menendez, reunited last week after more than two decades apart.
After the reunion, the Menendez brothers’ aunt on their father’s side, Marta Cano, told ABC News that Erik, who is her godson, is now living by the faith that was never around in their home growing up.
Cano, a deeply religious woman herself, learned that Erik had been teaching Christianity to a group inmates after he asked her to send him some books on the subject.
“So, he was really making sure that the prisoners knew that there is a God that loves us,” she said. “That was marvelous to me because he never got that at home.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2017
Before the brothers came face to face last week, the last time they had seen each other was Sept. 10, 1996, the day of their conviction. On that day, they could only wave to each other from across a prison yard, ABC reported.
While in separate prisons, the two were not permitted to speak on the phone, but they wrote letters to each other – sometimes playing chess by sending individual moves to each other through snail mail.
Cano said she believes her nephews were able to mature and grow through their “suffering” in separate prisons.
“The other good thing is they have been able to mature separately,” she said. “Sometimes we cling on to somebody else, and we never mature.”
The brothers reportedly burst into tears upon laying eyes on one another at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego last Wednesday. Erik has been housed there for a few years, while Lyle was moved there in February.
Cano, who describes her nephews as “sweet” and “beautiful” boys, said she believes Erik and Lyle killed her brother and his wife, as a “defense mechanism.” The Menendez brothers, as well as other family members, had testified in court that they were abused.
“It was not [an] in-cold-blood kind of thing,” she said. “It was fear — total fear.”
Cano said she will continue to pray that they will one day be set free, despite the life prison terms they were sentenced following their conviction of first-degree murder.
“You have to leave some things in God’s hands, and God takes care of them,” she said.
(H/T: ABC News)