Suspects in Deadly Livermore Stabbing Make First Court Appearance

DUBLIN -- The two suspects in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta, of Tracy, made their first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Alameda County Superior Court.

Though both the suspects' and victims' families declined to comment, Cuesta's family members could be heard yelling at the suspects during their court appearance, including statements like, "You're going to get what you deserve."

Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25,  both of Modesto, are suspected of stabbing Cuesta several times, tying her up and leaving her body on Tesla Road in Livermore.

Wednesday's court appearance came just two days after Cuesta told investigators who killed her, moments before taking her last breath.

Cameras weren't allowed in Alameda County Courtroom 712 and loved ones were too emotional to speak.

In a jailhouse interview with our sister station KTVU, Gross admitted he "snapped."

“I didn’t plan to do this at all,” Gross told KTVU.

Gross said he, his fiancee, Leonardo, and Cuesta had all smoked marijuana Sunday night. He said they knew each other because they all worked together at a fast food restaurant in Tracy

While his fiancee was driving, he and Cuesta had sex in the back seat.

Gross says he then tied Cuesta up with yellow rope with her consent -- that rope was later found at the crime scene

Gross claims he acted in self defense because Cuesta elbowed him in the ribs.

He says Cuesta had a knife on her -- one that he had given her because she did not feel safe skating in El Pescadero Park in Tracy.

The male suspect never said how he killed the 19-year-old, but according to the complaint FOX40 obtained, Gross used a knife.

Cuesta was later found on a desolate road in Livermore, but before taking her last breath, she named Leonardo and Gross as her killers.

Both suspects will return to Alameda County Superior Court Thursday at 9 a.m.