Closing arguments begin in Baseline Killer trial

AP News
Posted: Oct 17, 2011 8:02 PM
Closing arguments begin in Baseline Killer trial

Prosecutors said in closing arguments Monday that the man accused of being the Baseline Killer terrorized the Phoenix area for a year, hunting innocent victims and killing nine people they say refused his demands.

Prosecutors showed video clips of testimony from earlier in the trial, with victims verbally identifying Mark Goudeau or pointing to him in the courtroom. The 47-year-old construction worker is charged with nine murders and dozens of other crimes from 2005 and 2006, including rape and child molestation.

"He targeted innocent victims over and over and over again," prosecuting attorney Patricia Stevens said. "He is a predator with a desire for power. He controls not only his victims but his crime scenes."

The killings attributed to the so-called Baseline Killer started in August 2005 and ended with the murder of Carmen Miranda of Phoenix in what police described as a "blitz attack" on the mother of two on June 29, 2006. She was vacuuming her car and talking on her cellphone at an east Phoenix car wash when a man kidnapped her then shot her in the head and shoved her body in the back seat.

The other eight people who were killed also were attacked while going about daily activities, such as leaving work or cooking lunch.

The victims were shot in the head, and many of the bodies were left with their pants unzipped and partially pulled down. The victims _ eight of them women _ ranged from 19 to 39 years old.

Authorities named the crimes after Baseline Road in south Phoenix where a number of the earliest attacks occurred. Goudeau lived only a few miles from many of the attack sites, and the last murder occurred around the corner from his home.

Prosecutors on Monday said ballistics show the same gun was used in all the crimes. They also recounted DNA evidence that they say links him to crime scenes, including one victim's blood on his shoe and another victim's blood on a ski mask found at his house. Jewelry belonging to another victim was found at his house.

Defense attorneys have contended that there are likelier suspects than Goudeau and have discredited the DNA tests.

Goudeau has pleaded not guilty to the 72 charges he's facing. If he's convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty.

Goudeau's attorney, Randall Craig, on Monday said he couldn't comment on the prosecution's presentation. Defense attorneys were scheduled to present their closing arguments on Tuesday morning.

Some family members in the audience cried Monday as prosecutors summarized the attacks and showed images of victims lying in pools of blood.

Goudeau spent most of the proceedings watching the presentation on a courtroom screen or with his head bent toward the table while writing. He wore a suit and tie and greeted his attorneys with a smile when he entered the room Monday morning.

Goudeau is already serving a 438-year prison sentence for a 2005 attack. In that case, police say he raped a woman while pointing a gun at her pregnant sister's belly. That crime is considered part of the Baseline Killer case.

Goudeau, who grew up in Phoenix, spent 13 years of his life behind bars after being convicted of crimes that included beating a woman's head against a barbell. He was paroled in 2004.

Police say they believe he started attacking again a year later.