LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Los Angeles prosecutor seeking the death penalty for the man convicted in 10 “Grim Sleeper” murders says he also killed five other women.
Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors Thursday that one of those additional killings was committed before the series of murders that Lonnie Franklin Jr. was convicted of and involved the same gun that took the life of the final victim.
Defense lawyers postponed presenting an opening statement in their efforts to spare Franklin from capital punishment. Franklin was previously convicted of 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Silverman says Franklin’s first victim was found in an abandoned gas station restroom in 1984. Police later connected the killing of Sharon Dismuke to the gun used to kill Janecia Peters in 2007.
Silverman says that gun was found in Franklin’s garage.
KCAL9’s Dave Lopez reported from the court house.
Silverman also said Franklin and two other men, soldiers at the time, committed a gang rape in Germany in 1974. Silverman said the then 17-year-old victim in that case was also going to testify during the penalty phase.
The daughter of one of Franklin’s murder victims was clear on what she expected the jury to decide.
“Death,” said Rochell Johnson, “That is what this case pretty much is leading to. All these victims? That’s what you deserve. The death penalty.”
Johnson was 4-yars-old when Franklin murdered her mother Henrietta Wright in 1985. Wright was the second victim Franklin was found guilty of murdering.
She said she was 8-years-old when an aunt explained how her mother was killed.
The penalty phase is expected to last about a month and Lopez said the jury will have two choices — life in prison or death.
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