Parents of boys killed by Grossman take solace in her murder conviction: 'We finally can move on'

Los Angeles, CA - February 23: Karim and Nancy Iskander talk with media outside Van Nuys courtroom after verdict on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Nancy and Karim Iskander talk with media outside Van Nuys courtroom after a verdict on Friday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

For the record:
3:04 p.m. Feb. 27, 2024: An earlier version of this story said that Nancy Iskander went to the gravesites of her two young sons after the verdict in Rebecca Grossman’s murder trial. Iskander did not go to the gravesites that night but posted a photo from the sites taken by someone else that evening offering a tribute to her sons.

A few hours after a jury on Friday convicted Rebecca Grossman of murdering her two young sons, Nancy Iskander posted a photo on X of their graves.

It was the end of a wrenching day. Three years after Grossman sped through a Westlake Village crosswalk in her Mercedes-Benz, hitting Iskander's sons as she watched in horror, she had finally found some level of closure.

"Someone was held accountable for your murder sons. Sleep tight. Rest in peace," she wrote on X along with a dusk photo of the marble headstone.

It took jurors a little over one day to convict Grossman on all charges.

Read more: Tearful mom describes horror as car sped through intersection, killing her 2 sons

In doing so, the jurors appeared to embrace the prosecution's case that Grossman — the scion of a prominent medical family — was reckless and impaired by margaritas and Valium when she plowed through the residential intersection and hit the children in a marked crosswalk.

The jury convicted Grossman on two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of hit-and-run resulting in death. Those were the maximum charges sought by prosecutors. The jury could have opted for lesser charges, such as vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence.

For Iskander, it was a moment of satisfaction and grief. She had been bearing witness for her boys, testifying in court.

“My family has been waiting for this for 3½ years now. I've been waiting for the trust of the justice system. So today we're just giving glory to God; the God of Mark and Jacob has been with us through that time and helped us through, carried us," she said outside court.

She said sitting through the high-profile trial "felt like I am attending the funeral of the boys again, day after day. That's how it felt, seeing the defendant and defense attorneys.”

But with the conviction, she felt, it was all worth it.

"We were trusting the justice system," she said. "We have a justice system you can trust from our experience. It's not a justice system where people get away with things just under the color of their skin or their wealth or anything. You commit a crime, you will be held accountable."

On Sept. 29, 2020, when Iskander and her three sons approached the crosswalk, wearing inline skates, she began to cross Triunfo Canyon Road at Saddle Mountain Drive. Her youngest son, Zachary, was next to her on his scooter. Mark, on a skateboard, and Jacob, also wearing inline skates, followed a little over arm's length behind.

Read more: Rebecca Grossman guilty of murder in killing of two young brothers. She vows to appeal

Prosecutors accused Grossman of reaching 81 mph before lightly braking and hitting the brothers at 73 mph, based on the car’s data recorder and the distance Mark was found from the crosswalk.

Prosecutors allege Grossman, 60, had cocktails with her then-boyfriend Scott Erickson, a former Dodgers pitcher, and then raced with him — he in his black Mercedes sport utility vehicle and she in her white Mercedes SUV — along Triunfo Canyon Road until they reached a crosswalk.

Prosecutors also alleged that Grossman traveled a third of a mile after hitting the children before safety features in her car automatically shut it down.

Iskander's witness testimony was a highly charged moment in the trial, as she described watching Grossman's SUV plowing into her sons.

“I heard the loud noise, and I heard the driver of that car kept going,” Iskander told jurors. “I started screaming, ‘I can’t find them.’"

“Nobody came back to help,” Iskander said. “She did not come back to the scene.”

“She killed my kids,” Iskander said of Grossman. “They aren’t at school. They are not playing sports. They are at the cemetery.”

Grossman was taken into custody after the verdict. She faces a sentence of 34 years to life in prison based on the conviction. Grossman’s lead attorney, Tony Buzbee, called the verdict unexpected and vowed to appeal.

Nancy Iskander said it didn’t bring her any joy to see Grossman in handcuffs. Grossman’s daughter was overcome with emotion and yelled, “Oh, my God,” as the first word “guilty” echoed across the courtroom.

“No one wishes that on anyone,” Iskander said. “I promise I do not have any hate for her. My heart broke for her children. ... It wasn’t easy, but it will bring me closure.”

Iskander also took time to talk about her sons.

“Well, they were godly children. They loved God. They were raised at the church. They were hardworking. They were honest. They cared about the truth," she said. "And they were spoken for by a prosecution who's also just that hardworking, honest, who cared about the truth.

“Mark and Jacob didn't die. Mark and Jacob were murdered," she added.

She said her family was able to cope with the tragedy because of a large support group. “We're thankful for our community. We're thankful to everyone here.” Her son Zachary, who was 5 on the day of the crash, continues to deal with the trauma of losing his brothers.

Iskander's husband, Karim, said he hoped the verdict would be a turning point.

“We finally can move on. Finally. We have been waiting for the closure," he said.

He also thanked the jury, saying they saw past "the imaginary conspiracy theories and tricks.... and focused on the evidence and they took it seriously."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.