Woman's Murder Earns Man 2nd Death Penalty

TIMES STAFF WRITER

James Gregory Marlow, already facing the gas chamber for the murder of a Redlands woman, was handed a second death sentence Monday for kidnaping, raping and killing a Huntington Beach woman.

The jury, which began deliberations Friday afternoon, returned the verdict Monday after a total of four hours.

"We are gratified the jury agreed with us that his conduct in kidnaping, robbing and raping this girl . . . warranted the death penalty," Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert C. Gannon Jr. said. "It was appropriate."

Marlow, 35, had pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder in the killing of Lynel Murray, 19.

His attorney, George A. Peters, had asked the jury Friday to spare Marlow from the gas chamber because he had been abused as a child and was "emotionally crippled." Peters could not be reached for comment Monday.

Pretrial motions for Marlow's accomplice, Cynthia Lynn Coffman, his girlfriend at the time, were scheduled to begin this morning, Gannon said.

Marlow and Coffman were condemned to die in 1989 in San Bernardino for the rape and murder of Corrina D. Novis, 20, of Redlands. The verdict made Coffman, now 29, the first woman on Death Row in California since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977.

Novis gave the two a ride from a Redlands mall on Nov. 7, 1986, and was later found in a shallow grave. She had been sexually molested and strangled.

Five days later, the couple kidnaped Murray, a Golden West College student, as she was preparing to close a Huntington Beach cleaners where she worked, prosecutors said at the trial.

The next day, her body was found in a bathtub at an oceanfront motel not far from where she was abducted.

Marlow and Coffman were arrested on Nov. 17, 1986, in Big Bear City after using Murray's credit card when they registered at a resort. Police also found items identifying the two along with Novis' credit cards and belongings in a dumpster.

Both reportedly admitted the killings to police, court records show.

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