A 74-year-old man convicted of killing three women in South L.A. in the 1980s swore at the relatives of victims Thursday and denied he was guilty before being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The dramatic courtroom exchange came after the goddaughter of one of the victims told the court that Samuel Little “has no conscience, no soul.”
“I didn’t do it!” Little screamed in response.
“God will judge you,” shot back Mary Louise Frias, whose godmother, Guadalupe Apodaca, was among the victims.
Apodaca’s son, Tony Zambrano, also confronted Little, who sat in a wheelchair during the hearing.
“You took something very dear to me, sir,” Zambrano told Little.
Little swore back, and the two exchanged profanities until Superior Court Judge George Lomeli cut them off.
Lomeli sentenced Little to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors said that Little is a serial killer whose involvement in the killings only came to light in 2012 when his DNA was matched to the 1987 and 1989 deaths through genetic evidence left at the crime scenes. Little was living in Kentucky at the time he was linked to the killings.
The victims — Carol Alford, 41, Audrey Nelson, 35, and Apodaca, 46 — were beaten and strangled, their bodies found in alleyways and in abandoned garages.
Little was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder on Sept. 2 after a two-week trial.
Little’s crimes went far beyond South L.A., prosecutors argued. At the time of his arrest, police said they were concerned that he could be responsible for other killings across the country. Police say he committed other crimes in 24 states but never served significant time behind bars.
Prosecutors said Little preyed on vulnerable women — those who worked as prostitutes or used drugs, and were most likely to go unnoticed or ignored by police.
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