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Mark and Jacob Iskander's killer sentenced to 15 years to life for their 2020 murders

Mark and Jacob Iskander were hit and killed by a speeding motorist as they crossed on a marked crosswalk in Westlake Village in September 2020
Nancy Iskander
11-year-old Mark and 8-year-old Jacob Iskander were hit and killed by Rebecca Grossman as they crossed on a marked crosswalk in Westlake Village in September 2020

Rebecca Grossman was sentenced at an emotionally charged hearing on Monday.

Socialite Rebecca Grossman has been sentenced to serve 15 years to life in State Prison for the murders of two Westlake Village boys.

It was an emotionally charged hearing on Monday, which heard victim impact statements from the families, friends and teacher of the victims and the family and friends of the defendant.

Nancy Iskander, the boys' mother, told a full courtroom in Van Nuys, how 11-year-old Mark had wanted to grow up to be a neurosurgeon.

"Neurosurgeon in the morning...but a comedian by night," she said of Mark.

"Jacob was my protector," she said.

Mark and Jacob's parents, Nancy and Karim Iskander, leave court on Monday after the sentencing of Rebecca Grossman, for their murders
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
Mark and Jacob's parents, Nancy and Karim Iskander, leave court on Monday after the sentencing of Rebecca Grossman, for their murders

Nancy stressed that the boys were two individuals, telling the court that "two don't count for one," and asking that Grossman's sentence would run consecutively.

"I love Rebecca Grossman," said the Westlake Village mother. "But she's not caring...she's a coward."

Nancy told the court of the night that her sons Mark and Jacob were killed in the hit and run, in front of their youngest brother Zachary and her.

"Zachary is still struggling with that sight," she said.

Turning to Grossman's husband Peter, Nancy berated him for misspelling her son Mark's name in his mitigation statement.

"This one you should remember, your wife killed him. It's a K," she said.

The last speaker was the defendant Rebecca Grossman, who spoke to the court for the first time. Dressed in brown prison overalls and with a set of handcuffs attached to her left wrist, she stood and turned around to tearfully address the boys' parents directly in the courtroom.

Nancy stood to leave the courtroom.

"Please don't leave, please don't leave," she pleaded with Nancy. "I've waited almost 4 years to reach out to you and tell you how sorry I am," said Grossman.

Grossman said she went into a "state of denial," on the night of the fatal accident.

She is a woman who had it all. The wealthy socialite with a plastic surgeon husband and a multi-million dollar mansion with celebrity neighbors. But on September 29, 2020, just before 7pm…after an afternoon of drinks with friends and her boyfriend, Rebecca Grossman floored the accelerator of her high-powered Mercedes SUV, reaching 83mph, through a residential neighborhood in Westlake Village. A decision which left two young boys dead and a community devastated.

Rebecca Grossman was found guilty of the second degree murders of Mark and Jacob Iskander at a 6-week trial earlier this year
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
Rebecca Grossman was found guilty of the second degree murders of Mark and Jacob Iskander at a 6-week trial earlier this year
Rebecca Grossman's vehicle on the night of the fatal accident
Lost Hills Sheriff
Rebecca Grossman's vehicle on the night of the fatal accident

11-year-old Mark, 8-year-old Jacob, 5-year-old Zachary and their mother Nancy Iskander waited at the crosswalk on Triunfo Canyon Road at Saddle Mountain Road, before crossing when it was clear. They didn’t know that Grossman and her boyfriend, former baseball player Scott Erickson, were barreling in their direction in two separate SUVs, at nearly twice the speed limit until it was too late.

Three quarters of the way across the road, Nancy and Zachary managed to dive out of the way. Mark was killed instantly, his body was found 254 feet from the crosswalk. Jacob was found at the side of the road, he had a faint pulse but died later that night at Los Robles Hospital.

In the seconds after the accident, Grossman’s car deployed her airbag, which eventually caused her car to disable around a third of a mile from the scene…and the car’s system called MBrace, their version of OnStar…that call was played during her murder trial.

"I don't know what I hit," she told the operator.
"But you hit something?" the operator responded.

MBrace call

Mark and Jacob Iskander were killed by Rebecca Grossman on September 29, 2020
Nancy Iskander
Mark and Jacob Iskander were killed by Rebecca Grossman on September 29, 2020
Nancy and Karim Iskander with their sons, Mark, Jacob and Zachary
Nancy Iskander
Nancy and Karim Iskander with their sons, Mark, Jacob and Zachary

Nancy recalled at the trial how she looked back and Mark and Jacob were gone.

“She didn’t stop," Nancy told a pre-trial hearing. “She didn’t stop even when she had a child on the hood of her car."

Her car had hit them with the force of being dropped from the top of a 12 story building.

"Going to the trial was like going to the funeral of Mark and Jacob every day for six weeks," Nancy Iskander told KCLU in an interview before sentencing. "This is how hard it was. It was horrible."

"The day I lost them is one thing. The day of the funeral, I consider, is the darkest day of my life. But then the trial even tops that. I had to relive and relive and not only relive it, but to hear people saying lies about it and see the murderer sitting there with no remorse. It was just beyond what any mom should be going through, but I felt like I had to do it," she told KCLU.

"It's my responsibility as a mother to fight for their justice and to be there for them. And I had to be there for them. And now time to do good in the name of Mark and Jacob."

It’s been a four-year long fight for justice for Mark and Jacob Iskander. Their mother Nancy had nothing but praise for the prosecutors and jury who convicted her of two counts of second degree murder, two counts of manslaughter and hit and run.

Rebecca Grossman, the chair of the Grossman Burns Foundation, blamed the accident on Erickson, and had remained free on bail until her conviction in February this year.

Prosecutors had asked for consecutive sentences, a maximum of 34 years to life. Defense has asked for her to serve probation.

Now Rebecca Grossman will start to serve her sentence of 15 years, after the judge ordered her to serve the time concurrently.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.
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