Grim Sleeper serial killings: Trial date set after 4 1/2 years of delays
Samara Herard, right, hugs Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman before speaking to the media about the guilty verdict for Lonnie Franklin Jr. Herard’s sister, Princess Berthomieux, 15, was found strangled and beaten March 19, 2002, in an Inglewood alley.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
After a day and a half of deliberations, jurors found Lonnie Franklin Jr. guilty of 10 counts of murder in the killings of nine women and a 15-year-old girl.(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
With the verdict, Lonnie Franklin Jr., dubbed the Grim Sleeper by authorities, officially becomes one of California’s most prolific and enduring serial killers.(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman looks at victims’ families as guilty verdicts are read.(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Samara Herard tearfully speaks to the media about the guilty verdict for Lonnie Franklin Jr. Herard’s sister, Princess Berthomieux, a 15-year-old girl, was found strangled and beaten March 19, 2002, in an Inglewood alley.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Porter Alexander, far right, speaks to the media about his daughter Alicia Alexander after the guilty verdict for Lonnie Franklin Jr. With him are his wife, Mary, and Rev. Oliver Buie of Holman United Methodist Church.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman, right, makes opening statements in the Grim Sleeper trial last month. Lonnie Franklin Jr. is accused of killing 10 people and attempting to kill Enietra Washington.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Defense attorney Seymour Amster delivers closing arguments.
Prosecutor Beth Silverman makes her final remarks during closing arguments in the murder trial of Lonnie Franklin Jr., 63, who is accused of killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl beginning in the mid-1980s.
Judge Kathleen A. Kennedy picks a number from a Dodger hat for an alternate juror in the People vs. Lonnie Franklin Jr.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Lonnie Franklin Jr. is accused of killing nine women and a teen girl.
Enietra Washington, left, is comforted by her aunt, Della Robinson, before the start of a 2010 news conference in downtown L.A. announcing the arrest of Lonnie David Franklin Jr. Washington is the only known survivor of an attack by the Grim Sleeper serial killer.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Mary Alexander, left, the mother of slaying victim Alicia Alexander, embraces Laverne Peters, mother of victim Janecia Peters outside the Police Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles at a 2010 news conference detailing the arrest of Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Neighbor Donna Harris stands across the street from the home of Lonnie David Franklin Jr. in 2010.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
A judge has set a summer trial date in the case of the alleged Grim Sleeper serial killer, charged with murdering 10 women and suspected of killing several others.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. turned briefly to look at the families of his suspected victims during a court proceeding Friday, where L.A. County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she was eager to get the trial started.
“It has been four and a half years,” she said. “The Boston Marathon bombing case didn’t take four and a half years to go to trial.”
She said she would begin jury selection June 30.
Kennedy’s decision came at the end of a dramatic hearing, during which families cited Marsy’s Law, a victims bill of rights approved by California voters in 2008 that entitles crime victims and their families to a speedy trial. The family members expressed their frustration with the pace of the case.
“I just wanted to know, when will justice be served for our families?” asked Sherry Ware Costa, slaying victim Barbara Ware’s aunt.
Other family members placed blame on delays requested by Franklin’s attorney, Seymour Amster. The attorney said with multiple crimes scenes and lots of elapsed time, he had to rely heavily on experts -- and his experts needed time.
Kennedy reminded the victims’ families that the schedule was always delayed in death penalty cases. “They take longer,” Kennedy said, “and I apologize for that, but that is the truth.”
Franklin’s only known survivor, Enietra Washington, also addressed him in court Friday.
“I thought I forgave you, but I was wrong,” she said. “You stole so many people’s lives.”
Los Angeles Times staff writer Joseph Serna contributed to this report.
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.