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Man Found Guilty of Helping His Heartbroken, Murderous Friend Kill His Ex's Dad & Sister

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A Hollywood man was found guilty of helping his friend murder his ex-girlfriend's dad and sister (and try to do the same to her mother), after her Hindu parents disapproved of their daughter's non-practicing Muslim boyfriend.

Although Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 26, was housebound because of a motorcycle accident, a jury found him guilty of aiding and abetting his heartbroken, murderous friend Iftekhar Murtaza, according to the OC Weekly. Krasnoperov coached Murtaza via instant message — which is why it has been dubbed the "instant message" killings — and helped him plan the murders. Prosecutors say that Krasnoperov even helped his friend out by hiring Charles Anthony Murphy Jr. for $30,000 to help Murtaza commit the crime, but the jury hung on the question of whether Murphy was also guilty.

There are a lot of players and the story is complicated, but here is the backstory: Murtaza was dating a girl Shayona Dhanak, who was a freshman at UC Irvine. Her devout Hindu parents disapproved of their relationship, and they pressured her to break up with Murtaza. That's when Murtaza started getting the idea to get rid of the parents.

In May 2007, Dhanak's father and sister were murdered. Invaders beat and stabbed the father, mother and sister and then set their home on fire. The invaders made off with the father and sister in a van, but left the mother — who survived — on a neighbor's lawn in their rush to get away. The charred bodies of her father and sister were found near a bike trail later.

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Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Murtaza.