"Grim Sleeper" in South Los Angeles of U.S. pleads not guilty

08:40, August 24, 2010      

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A serial killer, code-named " Grim Sleeper", pleaded not guilty on Monday to the murders of 10 women in South Los Angeles over a 20-year period.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, made the plea when arraigned at a Superior Court in Los Angeles, with the presence of about 30 family members and friends of victims.

Attorney Louisa Pensanti, who presents Franklin for free, told reporters outside the courtroom that she is assembling a defense team and expects it to take at least six months to prepare for a preliminary hearing.

"I believe that time is needed to fully investigate this," Pensanti said.

She added her client is "very concerned about his family, and his family is very concerned about him."

Franklin is due back in court Sept. 14, when a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial on 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Franklin, a backyard mechanic, was arrested July 7 in front of his home in Los Angeles, and has been in jail without bail since then.

DNA and ballistics evidence have connected Frainklin with the killings of 10 women and one attempted murder from 1985 to 2007, police said.

The killer was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because of the 13-year break between killing sprees.

Many of the killer's victims were prostitutes. Some were raped before being shot to death with a small-caliber handgun.

Source: Xinhua


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