LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) — Nearly 30 years after the first victim turned up in Southern California, the man prosecutors said was the so-called “Grim Sleeper” serial killer was convicted by a Los Angeles jury Thursday.
Lonnie D. Franklin, Jr., was convicted of committing 10 murders after three months of gruesome testimony from authorities and relatives of the victims. He was also convicted on one count of attempted murder for a victim who escaped.
Franklin, 63, a former mechanic and police officer for the city, was finally arrested in 2010 due to what investigators said was a DNA link. He was given the name “Grim Sleeper” due to lengthy periods between murders in the 1990s and 2000s.
“Most of these victims have been dead for over 20 years,” Beth Silverman, the deputy district attorney, said during closing arguments this week. “It’s time. It’s time that justice was served in this case.”
“It was the perfect place and time for a serial killer to roam the streets of Los Angeles really without detection,” Silverman said at the trial’s opening, noting that the start of Franklin’s rampage coincided with the explosion of crack cocaine use on L.A. streets.
The penalty phase of the trial will begin Wednesday. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.