SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An Orange County Superior Court jury Wednesday recommended the death penalty for a former Marine and Chicago triple-murderer who was convicted last month of murdering five women in Southern California from 1986 to 1995.
The jury deliberated for approximately one day before recommending the death penalty for 53-year-old Andrew Urdiales, who was found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 31.
It took nearly a decade for Urdiales’ case to come to trial. He was indicted in December 2009 for killing one woman in Orange County, three in Riverside County and one in San Diego County.
In 2002, Urdiales was sentenced to death in Illinois for the murders of three prostitutes there in the mid-1990s, but he was re-sentenced to life in prison after capital punishment was outlawed in Illinois.
Urdiales was first arrested in Illinois in 1996 on an unrelated charge. A gun he was carrying would help link him to the murders. He was convicted of the three Illinois murders, and extradited in 2011 to California, where he’s been awaiting trial ever since.
The murders occurred when Urdiales was stationed at various Marine Corps facilities in Southern California from 1986 through to 1995.
Urdiales repeatedly stabbed 23-year-old Robbin Brandley on Jan. 18, 1986, after she left a pianist’s concert at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
On July 17, 1988, he fatally shot Julie McGee in Indian Wells in Riverside County. He picked up the 29- year-old prostitute and had sex with her before shooting her in the head, prosecutors said.
On Sept. 25, 1988, Urdiales picked up 31-year-old prostitute Maryann Wells in San Diego and shot her in the head after having sex with her.
Tammie Erwin was shot three times and died April 16, 1989, after Urdiales drove her to a spot near Palm Springs and had sex with her.
On Wednesday, Urdiales was also convicted of the 1995 killing of Denise Maney, a 32-year-old prostitute he allegedly picked up while vacationing in Palm Springs, Gundy said.
During the trial, Urdiales’ attorneys claimed that childhood trauma and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder left him incapable of controlling his anger, meaning that Urdiales did not plan the murders before committing them. Instead, they argued for implied malice, which would lead to a second-degree murder conviction, which would have made him ineligible for the death penalty.
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