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'Grim Sleeper’ serial killer convicted on 10 murder charges

Lonnie David Franklin Jr
Lonnie David Franklin Jr

A former sanitation worker accused of being the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer was found guilty of murder on Thursday for the slayings of nine women and a teenage girl in a Los Angeles crime spree dating back 30 years.

The Superior Court jury reached its verdict on all 10 counts of murder against the defendant, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 63, after deliberating just over a day, capping a trial that stretched over more than 11 weeks.

Franklin, who could face the death penalty, also was convicted of attempted murder for an attack on an 11th victim who survived being shot, raped, pushed out of a car and left for dead in 1988.

Judge Kathleen Kennedy instructed jurors to return to the courtroom on May 12 for the start of the trial's penalty phase.

Franklin, whose attorney sought to raise questions about DNA evidence presented during the trial, was convicted of fatally shooting or strangling seven victims between August 1985 and September 1988, and three others between March 2002 and January 2007.

The gap of more than 13 years between the two spates of murders earned the killer the "Grim Sleeper" moniker.

Since his March 2011 indictment, police said they had gathered evidence linking Franklin to at least six more slayings, some of which took place during the previously presumed lapse in killings.

Franklin, who sat impassively in court as the verdicts were read on Thursday, has been in custody since his arrest in July 2010.