In 1989, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and wife Kitty Menendez were found brutally shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion. Their children, Lyle Menendez and Erik Menendez, claimed that years of abuse drove them to commit the heinous crimes, while the prosecution and the press painted a picture of murder for inheritance — one worth $14 million. The brothers were ultimately sentenced to two life terms without parole for the first-degree murder of their parents. Dick Wolf's upcoming "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" series details the highly publicized courtroom proceedings that led up to their final conviction, including two initial trials that resulted in deadlocked juries. Keep reading to learn more about the actors and real-life players at the center of the NBC crime series, set to premiere on Sept. 26, 2017.
Miles Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez
Miles Gaston Villanueva stars as Lyle Menendez on the 2017 NBC series "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
Defendant: Lyle Menendez
Lyle Menendez was 21 years old when he killed his very wealthy parents. He and his brother purchased shotguns just one day before using them to shoot their mom and dad at close range in their own home. "I am the kid that did kill his parents, and no river of tears has changed that and no amount of regret has changed it," he told ABC News in January, with 27 years of prison under his belt and a lifetime to go. "I accept that. You are often defined by a few moments of your life, but that's not who you are in your life, you know." Now 48, Lyle has actually been married twice while in prison, despite not being allowed any conjugal visits. He currently resides at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, separated from his younger brother and co-conspirator.
Gus Halper as Eric Menendez
Gus Halper stars as Eric Menendez on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
Defendant: Erik Menendez
Erik Menendez was just 18 years old when he assisted his older brother, Lyle Menendez, in murdering their parents. "I would give my life to change it," the remorseful convict revealed to People back in 2005. "I talk to my mom. She knows my heart. I ask for forgiveness." Now 46, Lyle resides at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, where he married his current wife, Tammi Ruth Saccoman, in 1999. "Not having sex in my life is difficult, but it's not a problem for me," she explained. "I have to be emotionally attached, and I'm emotionally attached to Erik."
Edie Falco as Leslie Abramson
Edie Falco stars as Leslie Abramson on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: Menendez Murders."
Defense attorney: Leslie Abramson
Leslie Abramson represented Erik Menendez in his multiple trials and retrial for murder. In Erik's defense, she argued that his father, Jose Menendez, had allegedly been physically and sexually abusive and claimed that his mother, Kitty Menendez, was mentally unstable and had a substance abuse problem. After the trials, she was investigated — and ultimately cleared — by the California State Bar for ethical misconduct following accusations that she had the brothers' psychologist doctor his notes.
Josh Charles as Dr. Jerome Oziel
Josh Charles plays Dr. Jerome Oziel on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
Psychologist: Dr. Jerome Oziel
Erik Menendez allegedly confessed to murdering his parents during a session with his psychologist, Dr. Jerome Oziel. The initial 1992 trial was significantly delayed by controversy surrounding the admissibility of tape recordings of their sessions. Ultimately, only select tapes were allowed in court on the grounds that doctor-patient confidentiality was voided when Erik allegedly threatened Dr. Oziel.
Heather Graham as Judalon Smyth
Heather Graham stars as Judalon Smyth on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
Key witness: Judalon Smyth
In 1990, Lyle Menendez and Erik Menendez were arrested on suspicion of murder after Judalon Smyth, Dr. Oziel's ex-mistress, tipped off authorities. Soon after the psychologist broke up with her and decided to go back to his wife, she went to the police claiming that she had overheard Erik's confession during a session with her then-boyfriend. "I mean, it took a long time for me to do the right thing," she told People in 2015. "But ultimately, I did." Judalon came under attack when she testified against the brothers and was called a "nutball" and accused of having loose lips.
Anthony Edwards as Judge Stanley Weisberg
Anthony Edwards stars as Judge Stanley Weisberg on 2017's " Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
Judge: Stanley Weisberg
Judge Stanley Weisberg presided over the double-murder retrial of Erik Menendez and Lyle Menendez in Los Angeles County's Van Nuys Superior Court. Following the media circus that surrounded their first trials, which were broadcast by Court TV, he decided not to allow cameras into the courtroom for the second leg. In 1996, he followed jurors' recommendations and opted against a death sentence for the brothers, instead sentencing them to two life terms without parole.
Carlos Gomez as Jose Menendez
Carlos Gomez plays Jose Menendez on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders." While original photos of the wealthy businessman are hard to come by, Carlos' on-screen portrayal is quite uncanny. Jose immigrated to America from Cuba when he was just a teenager and found much success in the business world after earning his accounting degree in New York City. According to the Los Angeles Times, he started out at the Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm and quickly networked his way up the ranks to become president of one of the partner's container service companies. But after marrying Kitty Menendez in 1963, the couple opted to move to California. There, Jose began earning the big bucks as an entertainment executive, becoming the CEO of LIVE Entertainment in 1987. In 1989, he was found dead in his Beverly Hills home after being shot in the back of the head.
Lolita Davidovich as Kitty Menendez
Lolita Davidovich plays Kitty Menendez on 2017's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders." Mary Louise "Kitty" Anderson met Jose Menendez while attending Southern Illinois University. She was a teacher for many years before opting to retire and care for the couple's two sons. Raising her kids in Calabasas, California, in the '80s, she quickly adapted to the role of homemaker and socialite before moving to a luxurious neighborhood in Beverly Hills. In 1989, she was found dead in her home with gunshot wounds to the face that left her unrecognizable.