LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 (UPI) — A serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” was sentenced to die by lethal injection in California on Wednesday for two different murder sprees that took the lives of nine women and a teenage girl.
In May, Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., was convicted of killing the females during his reigns of terror in South Los Angeles between 1985 and 1988, and once again between 2002 and 2007. The following month, jurors recommended he be put to death.
Franklin, 63, was also convicted of the attempted murder of Enietra Washington, who was shot in the chest and pushed out of a moving vehicle.
Wednesday, Judge Kathleen Kennedy imposed the jury’s recommendation of death over life imprisonment, without parole.
“You shall suffer the death penalty,” Kennedy told Franklin after reading the names of the 10 victims.
The sentence was decided after 17 relatives of the victims gave impact statements to the court.
“The defendant took my daughter, murdered her, put her in a plastic bag — a trash bag — like she was trash,” Laverne Peters, whose daughter Janecia was found in a dumpster in 2007, said in her statement. “My hope is that he spends the rest of his glory days in his jail cell, which will become his trash bag.”
“I’d like to know, why?” Mary Alexander, whose 18-year-old daughter was killed, directly asked Franklin — twice.
To each of Alexander’s inquiries, Franklin, who has denied involvement since his arrest and during trial, reportedly said softly, “I didn’t do it.”
During the penalty phase of his trial, Franklin was implicated by prosecutors in five more murders — and detectives have said they believe he may be responsible for more than 24 homicides.
The ten fatalities ranged in age from 15 to 35.
Franklin targeted black drug addicts or prostitutes and often dumped their naked bodies alongside roads or in the trash. Many of the women were initially listed as “Jane Does.”
Authorities ultimately linked the slayings through ballistic and genetic evidence, although identifying the DNA proved difficult for investigators.
In 2010, a search of state offender records turned up DNA evidence that indicated Franklin may have been the killer. A subsequent and more detailed DNA comparison conclusively linked him to the crimes.
Franklin, dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” due to the 14-year hiatus between the killing sprees, will be executed by lethal injection when his appeals are exhausted. California has not executed an inmate since 2006.