LOS ANGELES (CN) — A jury on Thursday found accused "Grim Sleeper" serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. guilty of the first-degree murder of nine women, a teenage girl and the attempted murder of his only known survivor.
The jury deliberated for over 1 1/2 days before delivering the verdict to Judge Kathleen Kennedy shortly after 1:30 p.m. in a courtroom packed with family members, press and law enforcement.
Franklin, 63, remained as he had throughout proceedings — staring without emotion at the wall in front of him — as the court clerk confirmed that the jury found him guilty of the murder of 10 victims and the attempted murder of another.
As the clerk confirmed the jury had found Franklin responsible for the murder of 18-year-old Alicia Alexander, her older brother Donnell nodded in the gallery.
Along with his mother, father and other relatives, Donnell had sat through every pretrial hearing and every day of the nearly three-month trial.
As the enormity of the verdict swept over him he allowed the tears to flow.
After the clerk read the 11 guilty verdicts, Judge Kennedy asked the 12 jurors to confirm that the verdicts were correct.
"Yes," they said in unison.
Talking to reporters outside the courtroom, Alicia Alexander's father Porter Alexander Jr. talked about his "great relief" when the decision arrived.
With tears streaming down his face, Alexander said of Franklin: "He took a limb from me — something that I'll never get back. It can never be replaced. I don't care how many pictures I have on the wall and all the things I see around me. It doesn't bring her back."
He said he found it hard to comprehend that Franklin could be so "cold" and "uncaring."
"He was the judge and executioner. He judged my daughter and took her life," Porter Alexander said.
The verdict caps a trial in which prosecutors described Franklin — a husband and father of two — as a cold-blooded sexual predator who derived pleasure and gratification from the killings.
The African-American defendant shot his victims at close range in the chest with a .25 semiautomatic pistol, and the evidence showed that they were shot in the passenger seat of the defendant's cars, jurors heard.
"The defendant is a serial killer who was basically hiding in plain sight," Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors during closing arguments earlier this week.
Nearly all of Franklin's victims were sex workers, and all but one tested positive for cocaine in their systems.
Franklin, an unassuming former city trash collector and LAPD garage attendant, demanded that his victims submit to him sexually, jurors heard. If they did not they were shot or strangled and sometimes both, county prosecutors said.
Franklin's modus operandi was to dump his victims in filthy alleyways or dumpsters, a few miles from his mint-green South Central house — placing the women he killed under discarded carpets, debris, a gas tank, a blanket, and trash, the jurors heard.
The first victim was 29-year-old Debra Jackson. She was found on Aug. 10, 1985, with three gunshot wounds to the chest in an alley close to West Gage Avenue, just 1.5 miles from Franklin's home on 81st Street in the Manchester Square neighborhood.
She was hidden under a leftover piece of carpet and her body had partially decomposed when she was found.