'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killings: Ex-Trash Collector Convicted In Murder Case, Sentencing Set on May 12
May 06, 2016 03:09 AM EDT
A Los Angeles judge delivered its verdict over the "Grim Sleeper" serial murder case on Thursday. The garbage collector accused of the serial killings of young black women spanning three decades was convicted of the murders.
Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a former garbage collector was convicted of the 10 "Grim Sleeper" serial slayings at the Los Angeles County superior court on Thursday, CNN News reported. Franklin was charged of the murders of a young girl and nine other women, ages 15 to 35 years old, that spanned three decades. The serial killings were dubbed as the work of the "Grim Sleeper" because of an apparent 13-year gap between the murders.
The victims' bodies were discovered, dumped in alleys and dumpster in South Los Angeles, few miles away from the accused's home address. The 63-year old, who was also a former garage attendant, was linked to the murders back in the year 2010 through the DNA evidence. On Wednesday, the case was brought to a jury, after a three-month trial. Sixty-one witnesses testified, which also include one survivor.
The material found on the women's breasts, clothing and zip tie of the trash containing the last victim, Janecia Peters matched on Franklin's DNA, according to the Guardian. The serial killings started from 1985 up to the year 2007. However, in 1988, one woman survived.
The case became more controversial as it remains unsolved for three decades and families of the victims think the police don't want to work on the case, given that mostly black women with poor background such as prostitutes and drug users are the victims. Franklin's defense lawyer, Seymour Amster said, the evidence were "inferior science" and he introduced a theory that a "mystery man" or his unknown nephew could be the real killer.
The verdict only means Franklin is now considered as one of the most prolific killers in California, Los Angeles Times reported. The families of the victims were glad of the verdict as justice has finally been served.
Franklin was also found guilty of one count of attempted murder. Jurors were told to return on 12th of May for the trial's penalty phase. Franklin could receive the death penalty.