Pasadena Man Pleads No Contest to Stabbing Cousin, Cousin's Wife

Jacob Mallory Bersson, now 34, is due back in a Pasadena courtroom Jan. 15 for a non-jury trial to determine if he was sane or insane at the time of the killings.

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A man pleaded no contest Thursday to fatally stabbing his cousin and his cousin's wife just over five years ago in the Pasadena apartment where the three lived.

Jacob Mallory Bersson, 34, is due back in a Pasadena courtroom Jan. 15 for a non-jury trial to determine if he was sane or insane at the time of the killings, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Bersson pleaded no contest to two counts of murder for the Oct. 13, 2014, killings of Lawrence Bressler, 50, and Denise Bressler, 64, Santiago said.

The defendant also admitted the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, along with an allegation that he personally used a knife, according to Santiago.

Lawrence Bressler was able to call 911 shortly before 6:30 a.m. that day and identify his cousin Jacob as his attacker, according to police.

His wife died shortly after arriving at a hospital.

Lawrence Bressler died in surgery, police said. He taught at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Pasadena for 11 years and was the director of operations for Chefs Center of California, a commercial food-preparation and education center.

Police found Bersson bloodied about a block from the apartment at 290 N. Madison Ave. and arrested him. No motive was disclosed.

Bersson could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is found to have been sane at the time of the crimes, according to Santiago.

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