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Surgeon recounts efforts to save the life of sole ‘Grim Sleeper’ survivor

Lonnie Franklin Jr.

Lonnie Franklin Jr., 63, faces 10 counts of murder in the Grim Sleeper killings.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A surgeon described on Tuesday the life-saving efforts performed on a woman believed to be the lone survivor of the so-called Grim Sleeper serial killer, telling jurors that he removed a bullet from her chest when she arrived at a Los Angeles County hospital more than 27 years ago. 

Dr. John Robertson testified that paramedics worked to keep the blood pressure of Enietra Washington from plummeting after she was shot on Nov. 7, 1988. Robertson said he was working at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center when Washington was rushed in for treatment.

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Under questioning from Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman, Robertson said Washington’s wound was consistent with her being shot as she sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle while her assailant was in the driver’s seat.

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The testimony echoed Washington’s recounting of her ordeal last week.

Washington testified she was attacked after accepting a ride from a man in an orange Ford Pinto. The man shot her as she sat in the passenger seat and forced himself on her, she recounted.

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In the downtown Los Angeles courtroom where the trial is taking place, Washington identified Lonnie Franklin, now 63, as her attacker.

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Prosecutors allege that Franklin, a former LAPD garage attendant, is responsible for a series of 10 slayings and the attempted murder of Washington during a period that spanned more than 20 years. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jurors also heard testimony from Debra Gibson, a criminalist with the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. 

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Gibson testified that she responded to the site where the body of 15-year-old Princess Berthomieux was found in 2002. Berthomieux, who had been strangled and beaten to death, had been left in an Inglewood alley.

For more on the Grim Sleeper trial, follow @sjceasar

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