Lyle Menendez Claims He and Brother 'Thought We Were Going into a Manslaughter Case' Before Murder Convictions

A new Fox Nation docuseries features an interview with Lyle Menendez

Lyle Menendez
Lyle Menendez

The Menendez Brothers are the focus of a new Fox Nation docuseries featuring an interview with Lyle Menendez in prison.

The brothers were convicted of the infamous 1989 shotgun murders of their parents, Jose and Kitty, in the Beverly Hills home where the family lived. Following a second trial, Lyle and his brother, Erik, were sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1996. At the time of the killings, Lyle was 21 and Erik was 18.

During their trial, the brothers maintained that they were subjected to years of sexual abuse at the hands of Jose and enabled by Kitty, making their crime manslaughter rather than first-degree murder.

In a clip from Menendez Brothers: Victims or Villains shared with PEOPLE, Lyle says at the time of his trial, he believed prosecutors were cognizant of the sexual abuse that he and his brother claim they suffered.

“I think looking back 34 years now on the trials, Erik and I and our family thought we were going into a manslaughter case with a district attorney that understood the traumatic impact that sexual violence creates in a person,” Lyle says in the clip. “And we ended up with the same sentence as a serial killer.”

<p>VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty</p> Erik, left, and Lyle Menendez


Erik, left, and Lyle Menendez

The four-part series, streaming on Fox Nation, also features interviews with the brothers’ attorney Mark Geragos and prosecutor Pamela Bozanich. It will also feature contributions from Rosie O’Donnell, who interviewed Lyle and Erik in prison in 2023, Adam Carolla and former SNL cast member Darrell Hammond.

Related: Menendez Brother Explains Why He Didn't Accuse Parents of Abuse When He Initially Confessed to Killings

The Menendez brothers do not dispute that they killed their parents, but instead have tried to explain why it happened. The exclusive interview with Lyle includes him discussing sexual violence that he says he faced.

“I know as an adult that that sexual violence in a household creates a space in which otherwise non-violent people can do the unthinkable,” Lyle says.

Prosecutors did not buy the abuse claims during the trials, pointing to the fact that when they confessed to the killings in therapy, they didn’t mention the alleged abuse.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

But in an interview with CBS that aired earlier in March, Lyle revealed why they didn’t share those claims.

“Just shame,” he claimed. “Just not wanting it to be public.”

In May,  a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Los Angeles Superior Court, reviewed by PEOPLE, on behalf of the brothers, citing evidence unearthed in a Peacock docuseries, Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed.

<p>Kim Kulish/Sygma via Getty</p> Lyle Menendez

Kim Kulish/Sygma via Getty

Lyle Menendez

In that 2023 series, former Menudo member Roy Rosselló alleged that Jose, who was an RCA Records executive, drugged and raped him in the 1980s. The petition also includes a letter that attorneys claim Erik sent to his cousin months before the shooting that detailed Jose’s abuse.

During over three decades in prison, the Menendez brothers have remained hopeful that a release is possible. But they still remain behind bars.

“Every day we watch people parole,” Lyle tells Fox Nation. “And 34 years later, you know, Erik and I are still waiting.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.