'Grim Sleeper' Lonnie Franklin Jr. Sentenced to Death for Murders of Los Angeles Women

The murders spanned more than 20 years starting in the 1980s.

ByABC News
August 10, 2016, 2:34 PM

— -- Lonnie Franklin Jr., known by the nickname the "Grim Sleeper," was sentenced to death today in connection with the killings of women in the Los Angeles area from 1985 to 2007.

His trial began in February of this year, more than three decades after the death of the first victim.

The victims, all between the ages of 15 and 35, were strangled or shot and left in alleyways near Franklin's home in South L.A., The Associated Press said.

The Grim Sleeper moniker was given to the serial killer because of an apparent 14-year gap in the murders, from 1988 to 2002.

"The man who preyed on vulnerable young women for two decades, killing nine and a teenage girl, was sentenced today to death," the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said today. “Lonnie Franklin Jr., 63, was sentenced after more than 15 family members of victims addressed the court and spoke of the anguish of losing their loved ones. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy then pronounced the sentence recommended by a jury following a six-month trial."

Franklin's defense attorney, Seymour Amster, said in a statement today, “The jury had another option -- life without the possibility of parole. I hold it to be the better option. That verdict would have saved millions of dollars from being spent in the often futile pursuit of eradicating a life from this earth, a life that was already determined to never again see the light of day outside prison.“

Franklin, a former city sanitation worker, was arrested in July 2010 after his DNA was connected to some crime scenes.

When his trial began in February of this year, he pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

He was found guilty on all counts in May. The jury that found him guilty recommended in June that he be sentenced to death.