Man Convicted in ‘Grim Sleeper’ Killings
A Los Angeles jury convicted 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin, Jr. on Thursday.
Franklin, who was accused of being the “Grim Sleeper,” was said to have raped his victims before shooting or strangling them and dumping their bodies.
He was charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the deaths of nine woman and a 15-year-old girl over more than two decades.
The first killing took place in 1985, followed by six more through 1988, according to KTLA 5. The remaining victims were killed in 2002, 2003, and 2007.
Franklin was indicted by a grand jury in 2011.
The gap between the killings prompted the criminal nickname, the “Grim Sleeper.”
“Once he saw he could get away with murder, literally, he just kept doing it,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told the jury during closing arguments. “He watched as they struggled to breathe…He watches as they each died.”
Silverman is seeking the death penalty in the case. Franklin did not take the stand in his own defense. He has been held without bond since 2010.
Testimony during trial found DNA on seven of the victims. The only know surviving victim, ENietra Washington, was the prosecution’s star witness.
She told the jury that in 1988 she accepted a ride from Franklin after he drove by and approached her. He then allegedly shot and sexually assaulted her in the vehicle. Franklin pushed her out of the car, leaving her for dead, but she survived.