LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A judge questioned nearly six dozen prospective jurors Monday in the trial of a man charged in the "Grim Sleeper" killings of nine women and a teenage girl between 1985 and 2007.
More than 200 prospective jurors filled out questionnaires last month as attorneys began the process of selecting a jury to hear the case against Lonnie Franklin Jr. Prospective panelists were told the trial would be a "complicated" case that has "garnered a fair amount of publicity."
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the prospective panelists the trial will be a "complicated" case that has "garnered a fair amount of publicity."
Would-be jurors were asked to answer 176 questions covering an exhaustive range of issues, including their religious and political beliefs, attitudes toward law enforcement and mental health professionals, and understanding of DNA evidence.
Kennedy's questions focused exclusively on how the potential jurors viewed capital punishment, since prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.
Franklin, a 63-year-old one-time city employee, is charged with the murders of nine women – who were mostly in their 20s – and a 15-year-old girl. The bodies were dumped in alleys and trash bins in and around South Los Angeles, Inglewood and unincorporated county areas. He is also charged with the attempted murder of another woman.
The killings occurred between 1985 and 1988, and 2002 and 2007, with the assailant dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" because of the apparent 13-year break between killing sprees.
Detectives have said since Franklin's arrest that they were also investigating whether he might be connected to the disappearances or deaths of eight other women whose photos were found in his home near 81st Street and Harvard Boulevard.
The trial is expected to last about three months.
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