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Tue Feb 16, 2016, 08:52 PM

Prosecution charts predatory trail of 'Grim Sleeper' killer

Source: Reuters

World | Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:21pm EST

Prosecution charts predatory trail of 'Grim Sleeper' killer

LOS ANGELES | BY ALICIA AVILA

An ex-sanitation worker charged with 10 murders dating back 30 years began preying on his victims, mostly prostitutes with drug addictions, during a crack epidemic that proved fertile ground for a Los Angeles serial killer in the 1980s, prosecutors told jurors on Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman charted the course of the slayings, and the gritty environment in which they occurred, in opening statements at the trial of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., accused of being a mass murderer dubbed the "Grim Sleeper."

The 63-year-old defendant, who has been jailed since his 2010 arrest, has pleaded not guilty, but could face the death penalty if convicted in the case, which hinges largely on DNA and firearms evidence.

Franklin stands charged with murder in the shooting deaths of seven women between August 1985 and September 1988, and the strangulation deaths of a 15-year-old girl and two other women when the killings resumed between March 2002 and January 2007.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-grimsleeper-idUSKCN0VP292

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