The long-delayed trial of the man believed to L.A.’s notorious Grim Sleeper killer has been postponed once again, much to the disappointment of the victims’ families.
Prosecutors asked for the most recent delay. During a contentious hearing yesterday, they accused the defense attorney for Lonnie Franklin Jr. of “gamesmanship,” saying he planned to ambush them by introducing new information during the trial about DNA evidence found at two crime scenes. The defense lawyer, Seymour Amster, denied that, and accused the prosecution of not playing fair.
In the end, an increasingly frustrated Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy ordered Amster to turn over the new evidence by the end of the month. She also moved back the start of the trial from September 9th to October 14th. However, she vowed that she would not put off the case endlessly.
In recent months, family members of victims have becoming increasingly critical about the long delay bringing Franklin to trial. Many were in court this week and heard about the latest delay firsthand.
Franklin is accused of 10 murders. He allegedly preyed on poor and vulnerable women in South L.A. for more than two decades, beginning in the mid-1980s. Investigators say they believe he’s responsible for even more killings, but don’t have the evidence to charge him. As it is, he could face the death penalty if convicted.
Franklin, who’s 60, was arrested in 2010. His nickname is a reference to a 14-year gap between killings that ended in 2002.