Jury finds Lonnie Franklin Jr. guilty in 'Grim Sleeper' serial murders
Lonnie Franklin Jr.

By Melissa Pamer, KTLA

LOS ANGELES -- (KTLA) -- A Los Angeles jury has convicted a 63-year-old man in landmark, monthslong trial in which he was accused of being the “Grim Sleeper,” a serial killer who prosecutors said raped his victims before shooting or strangling them and dumping their bodies.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. was charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the deaths of nine woman and a 15-year-old girl over more than two decades.

A verdict from the jury was read in a courtroom at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown L.A. shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was found guilty on all counts.

The first killing in the court case occurred in 1985, followed by six more through 1988. The remaining victims were killed in 2002, 2003 and 2007, according to a 2011 grand jury indictment of Franklin.

The gap between the killings prompted the criminal nickname, the “Grim Sleeper.”

“Once he saw he could get away with murder, literally, he just kept doing it,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told the jury during closing arguments.

Franklin shot or choked his victims to death, Silverman alleged.

Silverman is seeking the death penalty in the case.

After jury selection started in late January, opening statements began Feb. 16. Closing arguments finished Tuesday afternoon, and jury deliberations began Wednesday morning.

Franklin did not take the stand in his own defense.

He was arrested in 2010 after a DNA search of an inmate database led to a partial match for his son. Los Angeles Police Department investigators with a special task force then followed the elder Franklin until he tossed out his trash after eating pizza in Buena Park, leaving crucial genetic material on pizza crust.

He was soon arrested at his home in South L.A. and has been held without bail since then. Police found photos more than 100 women in his home, some of whom remained unidentified.

Jurors will return for sentencing portion of "Grim Sleeper" trial on May 12.

FULL STORY: Jury finds Lonnie Franklin Jr. guilty in 'Grim Sleeper' serial murders - KTLA

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