Sister elated after 'Grim Sleeper' verdicts

May 5, 2016 7:34 PM by News Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A jury has convicted a former Los Angeles trash collector in the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings that spanned more than two decades and targeted vulnerable young black women in the inner city.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. was found guilty of all 10 slayings Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court after a two-month trial in the potential death penalty case. He showed no emotion as the verdicts were read.

He was also found guilty of one count of attempted murder.

Prosecutors said Franklin stalked vulnerable young black women in the South Los Angeles area during the crack cocaine epidemic.

The 10 victims, including a 15-year-old girl, were fatally shot or strangled and dumped in alleys. Some were prostitutes and most had traces of cocaine in their systems.

The killer was dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" because of an apparent 14-year gap after one woman survived an attack in 1988.

A defense lawyer claimed a "mystery man" was the killer, though the prosecutor said that theory was fabricated.

The sister of the youngest victim of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer says she was elated when she heard guilty verdicts in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. faces a possible death sentence after being convicted Thursday of 10 counts of first-degree murder in slayings spanning two decades.

Samara Herard, the sister of 15-year-old victim Princess Berthomieux, says she had waited so long for justice she almost didn't think it was going to happen.

Herard says her sister had a heart of gold and deserved to live a full life. She says she wasn't surprised Franklin showed no emotion during the verdict because he didn't value life.

The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled to start May 12.


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