- Associated Press - Thursday, January 12, 2017

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A man who killed three people in San Diego, leaving one body in a car trunk, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Carlo Mercado pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in a deal that allowed him to avoid a possible death penalty. He was sentenced to three life terms.

Mercado acknowledged killing brothers Salvatore and Gianni Belvedere and Gianni’s fiance, Ilona Flint.

Prosecutors say they were killed in a parking lot outside a Mission Valley mall on Christmas Eve 2013.

Mercado didn’t know the victims. Prosecutors have said the killings may have involved road rage or an attempt to steal Gianni Belvedere’s car.

Gianni’s body was found a month later in the trunk of his car about 100 miles away in Riverside.

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