Defense claims 'mystery man' is 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer

AP News
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Posted: May 03, 2016 7:35 PM
Defense claims 'mystery man' is 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Grim Sleeper trial (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

A prosecutor has ridiculed the defense of the Los Angeles man charged in the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings as deceptive and based on imaginary evidence of a "mystery" murderer.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors Tuesday that the suggestion for the first time that Lonnie Franklin Jr. had a "mystery nephew" who tried to kill one of the victims was the equivalent of saying a space ship had murdered all 10 women in the case.

Defense attorney Seymour Amster questioned the ballistics and DNA evidence during his closing argument and said a mystery man was responsible for the killings, though he offered no evidence to support that claim.

Franklin is charged with 10 counts of murder and one attempted murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Wednesday.

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11:10 a.m.

A defense lawyer representing the man accused in the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings in Los Angeles says a "mystery man" was the real killer.

Attorney Seymour Amster told jurors Tuesday in his closing argument that a witness who survived being shot testified that the man who attacked her in his Ford Pinto had stopped earlier at his "uncle's" house to get money.

The survivor, Enietra Washington, later led detectives to the house of Lonnie Franklin Jr., who is accused of 10 counts of murder and her attempted killing.

Amster says she described her assailant as much younger than Franklin and says the real killer could be an unnamed nephew.

Amster says each murder could have been committed by a mystery man with a mystery gun with mystery DNA.

Amster also questioned the analysis of DNA results.

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12:11 a.m.

A serial killer preying on vulnerable young black women on the rough streets of south Los Angeles eluded police for two decades until someone rifling through a dumpster in 2007 noticed red fingernails poking out of a garbage bag.

Inside was the body of Janecia Peters that provided clues connecting her slaying to nine others and eventually led to the arrest of a suspect in the "Grim Sleeper" slayings.

A prosecutor displayed charts, diagrams, photos and DNA test results to jurors Monday to make her case that Lonnie Franklin Jr. was a killer hiding in plain sight as he shot and strangled women, many prostitutes, and dumped their bodies in alleys not far from his home.

Franklin could face the death penalty if convicted of the slayings of a 15-year-old girl and nine young women.