Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lonne Franklin, Jr., aka, "Grim Sleeper" Opening Statements Part II

 Lonnie Franklin, Jr. 2/6/15; Photo Credit, Nick Ut, AP

UPDATE 2/17 6:00 AM
Franklin Indictment
Victim List
UPDATE 2/17 5:30 AM
edited for spelling, clarity
UPDATE 11:00 PM
edited to add LA Times reporter's name
UPDATE 9:32 PM edited for clarity, spelling
February 16, 2016
Downtown Criminal Court Building - The 9th Floor

There is a roped off area for family and public. The roped off area on the side of the hallway takes up the whole wall down to the men’s restroom. Many are already lined up when I clear security.  The prosecution team arrives with their victim advocates.

Christine Pelisek from People Magazine is here and Eric Leonard from KFI. These are the only two reporters I recognize, but there are more here.

DDA’s Beth Silverman and Marguerite Rizzo are greeting the family members. Hugs are being exchanged. Beth is wearing a dark patterned top and black skirt. Rizzo is wearing a gray suit and peach blouse with a pretty scoop pattern to the collar.

Detective Dupree is here. The Assistant Head of Major Crimes, DDA Craig Hum is here. The victim advocate people are handing out badges to the family members in line.

8:45 AM
The family is let into the courtroom first and are seated in the second and third rows.

8:45 AM - INSIDE DEPT. 109 - The Media is Let In

Those with media badges are seated in the first row. Christine Pelesik is to my right, LA Times and LA Weekly to my left then KFI's Eric Leonard. A reporter from NBC is here. Reporter Hillel Aron from LA Weekly, Stephen Ceasar from LA Times sitting next to me. I see Miriam Hernandez from ABC arrives late and will be in the back row. There are a few other TV reporters whose faces I recognize, but their names escape me at the moment.

Jane Robison is here passing out copies of the counts and a list of victims, their ages and when their bodies were discovered.

There’s chatter among the reporters whether or not Franklin’s wife or children are here. Family members behind us who know Franklin’s family state they are not here. 
 We don’t know who a large black man is sitting over on the defense side, or the woman in a wheelchair beside him. It’s speculated that Franklin’s family may come in with the defense team.

The video cameraman informs the media they are trying to get communication from the video camera to the12th floor media room working.

908 AM - Defense Team Arrives

Defense team is here. Kristen Gozawa and Seymour Amster. No Dale Atherton yet. I do not see any family members with the defense team.

Six deputies are in the well of the court to keep order.

I note that Amster is over at the clerk's desk. I seek the clerk stamp Amster's papers. Amster just filed a motion, right before trial. Co-defense counsel Dale Atherton arrives. More family members arrive. DDA Beth Silverman is in the gallery hugging a new arrival I see Amster goes to use the restroom in the jury room. DDA Silverman puts on her matching black suit jacket. The prosecution team is all set up.

Left to right, at the two tables it’s Kristen Gozawa, Seymour Amster, Dale Alterton at defense. Then at the people's table, Detective Daryn Dupree, DDA's Marguerite Rizzo and Beth Silverman. DDA’s Jamie Castro and Paul Pzrelomiec are sitting in the chairs directly behind the prosecutors.

 Judge Kennedy comes out from the back rooms. She is wearing a pale aquamarine jacket over her blue patterned dress. It's a nice change to the black robe she has to wear over her clothing when on the bench. The courtroom is packed.

Detective Dennis Kilcoyne is seated in the gallery .He gets up and hugs the new female family member arrival that DDA Silverman recently hugged.

There is a discussion among the press as to whether or not it’s required by law in State court, to have two counsel on a death penalty case. I believe it’s required in federal cases, but I’m no legal scholar.

Judge Kennedy is still at her bench, reviewing something on her computer. It looks like she changed her hair. It’s parted on the side.

9:21 AM
We are still waiting for the court to be ready and bring the jury in. I see that DDA John Lewin is here, sitting over on the left near the bailiff’s box. Also over on that side is Dupree’s partner, and the department head of Major Crimes, Patricia Wilkinson.

The media gets the message that they are good on the 12th floor.

I look around and I can’t see DDA Craig Hum. He may have left.

9:26 AM
Franklin is brought out. He is wearing a light blue shirt, light blue tie and glasses. Judge Kennedy takes the bench and greets counsel. She asks parties to state their appearances.

Kristin, Amster, Atherton. Rizzo states herself, Dupree as I/O and Silverman. Amster filed a motion this morning. He states they were concerend about the handcuffs photo and the ID badges photo and some of the things that people said. Want to make sure that this case is [tried on the merits].

We believe that any statements and evidenece information other than the evidence related to the charges ... We are requesting the [opening statement be] limited to the charges in the indictment, and not bring in anything else.

DDA Silverman replies she has no intention of bringing anything in, in the guilt phase.

Judge Kennedy, "You’re not going to get into that?  DDA Silverman replies, "No I’m not your honor.." Amster states he is not challenging the rulings is not challenging the rulings. DDA Silverman states there is one issue, the order of witnesses. She explains how the order will go this morning. Amster states, "We didn't know who the witnesses are until today." The people say that's not true. I believe it's now that the people state they have not received a copy of the defense exhibits. Amster counters that they've worked over the weekend to copy and load exhibits. And that's about it for the bickering back and forth.

The court asks if they are ready to bring the jury in. The jury is brought in through the jury room. Evidently, they were assembled in another area and brought into court via private elevators and hallways.  As they file in, I count 9 women and 8 men. There are 17 jurors and alternates combined. We lost a juror at the last pretrial hearing, when the jurors supervisor wrote a note to the court explaining since she was a part-time employee, she would not receive her full pay for sitting on the jury.

Once they are all seated, Judge Kennedy picks an alternate number out of a blue cap that she holds up high above her shoulders. A male alternate was selected to fill juror seat #3. Here is how the new panel lays out.

seat 1man
seat 2 woman
seat 3 man
seat 4 man
seat 5 woman
seat 6 woman
seat 7 white woman
seat 8 woman
seat 9 man
seat 10 man
seat 11 woman
seat 12 man

Judge is going to give a few brief instructions on how the trial will proceed. Judge Kennedy reads to the jurors. Explains opening statement. Explains that the people will offer their evidence.

There are seven women, five men. One black woman. Four other women of color; either Latino or Filipino. One white woman. No black men. Alternates: Three women, two black, one white or Latino Two men. This is an older looking jury.

Judge Kennedy explains to the jury about not doing their own investigation. Basic jury instructions about not sharing any information they may have received. Advising them not to try to write down everything a witness says. More jury instructions. Now explaining what "beyond a reasonable doubt" is. The court tells the jurors that the questions are not evidence, only the answers are evidence. Explains objections and her rulings.

Judge Kennedy talks about the heat in the courtroom to the jurors. Now reached time to opening statements.

9:50 AM
DDA Beth Silverman gets up and has the lights turned down.

Welcome back. This is my opportunity to give you an overview of what you will see in the evidence over the next several months of the trial.

The evidence will tell a story of a serial killer who stalked the streets of South Los Angeles.  The crimes occurred between 1985 and 2007. You will learn, if you don’t already know, that in the1980’s in Los Angeles, South Central wracked by a legal epidemic.

DDA Silverman explains about crack cocaine, and that it’s distribution and use exploded during that time. Crack devoured those who succumbed to it’s cheap price. It left destruction for families and communities. People overdosed, people died, lost their lives and families.

It was so addictive, that some women were willing to risk everything, even their lives, in order to acquire more. They were willing to sell their bodies to acquire more of this addictive drug.

Someone took advantage of this tragic situation. He knew they were only focused on getting more of the drug. This was a perfect opportunity for someone who knew the streets, and alleyways by heart, and could blend in. Someone who knew where the potential victims would congregate. It was the perfect place an time for a serial killer to roam the streets of Los Angeles without detection.

"You’re going to hear about a series of murders that took place over a period of 22 years. ... This case consist of women who lost their way at some point. ... Women who were addicted to crack cocaine and some went to prostitution to support their drug habit. ... Many [of the victims] had cocaine in their systems. Some of these women were young girls. ... Princess was only 15 years old. .. She is the only one who didn’t have drugs in her system but she was a prostitute, and easily led astray."

Alicia Alexander was just 18 when she was murdered. The vic did not know each other but they were easily led. They were African American women and girls, dumped in alleys in South LA. Duped like trash, their bodies concealed, covered, hidden and in various states of undress. They had no identification. They were killed elsewhere. DDA Silverman explains the term "body dump" to the jurors.

Most of them were in various stages of undress, some missing bras, some shoes, some completely naked when found. No one had identification. They were all taken to the morgue as Jane Does’.
All were killed elsewhere. the cause of death was gunshot wound or strangulation. Gunshot wounds with a similar trajectory. Some were strangled but [almost all] were shot to death. Janica Peters was shot in the back. No bullet casings were found at the scene. All connected by forensic evidence to the defendant by DNA or firearms evidence or both.

To give you some context, this is the timeline. Eight [of the murders] occurred from 1985 to 1988. Then it happened again in 2002 to 2007. While these unsolved murder cases grew cold, what you're going to hear is scientific technology was evolving and tremendous advances had been made over the years. As the time passed, [law enforcement determined] that eight of the victims were linked by firearm evidence. Both the LAPD and the LASD reviewed the firearm evidence. They all came to the same conclusion. All the victims were shot with the same 25 automatic firearm.

There were no eyewitnesses and because of that, these murders went unsolved for decades. DDA Silverman explains about DNA and that it arrived on the scene as a powerful tool in the late 1990's. As it became accepted in the scientific community, some of these cold cases were starting to be solved.

Around the world, DNA is used to convict and exonerate. It has revolutionized police work in this country. In 2007, a special task force was set up to analyze these crimes. Multiple DNA analysts at various labs reviewed and tested the evidence.

They found male DNA in the sexual assault kits and were able to come up with a male DNA profile. What was significant in solving this case, is an unknown but identical male DNA profile, meaning each of them had intimate contact with the unknown man.

DDA Silverman explains that when evidence in different cases match, it's sometimes referred to as a case to case match. DDA Silverman now goes over each crime, when it occurred, the victim, how they were found, what the autopsy revealed and what the toxicology results revealed.

Warn you about what you are about to see in this case. The evidence in this case, I  warn you is extremely disturbing. But you need to pay attention to each of the crime scenes. [There is an exhibit on the overhead screen.] You will be given a copy of this exhibit. It will assist you in keeping track of the victims and the counts in this case. DDA Silverman explains the columns on the document they will get. The law enforcement case number, the coroner case number and the SAK [sexual assault kit] case number.

The First Victim - Debra Jackson

As DDA Silverman is speaking, up on the screen we are seeing images of the first victim, Debra Jackson. Saturday, August 10, 1985, Debra was found dead in an alley. She was discovered lying against a fence under a carpet remnant. Her right leg and arm were sticking out from under the carpet remnant. In the photo I can see that she still has some clothes on; pants, shoes, and her shirt is partially on. Since Debra was in decomposition, no sexual assault kit could be taken. Autopsy concluded the cause of death was three gunshot wounds to the left chest.

There are photos up on the screen taken of Debra after she had been washed and cleaned for her autopsy. The coroner removed three bullets from her body. There was burning stippling around the wounds, indicating they were close contact wounds. Toxicology was positive for alcohol and cocaine.

The coroner who performed the autopsy has died. Another coroner will testify in his place.

The bullets were analyzed and compared side by side. The same firearm, was used to kill seven other victims in this case.


Victim #2 - Henrietta Wright

One year after Ms. Jackson on August 12, 1986, Henrietta was found in an alley 2514 W. Vernon Avenue. She also went by the name Henrieta Bush. Photos are shown where her body was found. She was lying near a fence in the alley. She was wrapped in a green blanket and covered with a mattress, similar to Jackson. A long sleeve shirt was used as a gag and stuffed in her mouth.

[The photo of the shirt in Henrietta's mouth makes my heart stop. I want to weep.]

Her pants were unzipped. She was wearing no shoes. The autopsy of Ms. Wright concluded she died as a result of two gunshot wounds to the chest. There was charred or burned skin around one of the wounds, indicating that a gun was placed near or against the chest. Toxicology report showed cocaine and alcohol. The coroner is unavailable, so another will testify in his place.

The same 25 automatic used to kill Wright was also used to kill Jackson.

Victim #3 - Barbara Ware
On Saturday, January 10, 1987, Barbara Ware was found in an alley, five months after Wright was found shot to death. Ware's body was concealed underneath garbage. A trash bag covered her upper torso. [Like the other victims] there was no identification with her body. She was labeled a Jane Doe.  Coroner's criminalist Lloyd Mahaney collected the sexual assault kit. Lloyd Mahaney has passed away so another will testify in his place.

[In the Stephanie Lazarus case, Criminalist Mahaney collected the bite mark swab where eventually, a DNA match was made to Lazarus.]

There are autopsy photos up on the screen. The autopsy concluded Ware died from a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. There was sooting on the clothing. Toxicology screen tested positive for cocaine.

Firearms examiner determined the same 25 automatic used to kill Ware, was used in the murders of Deborah Jackson and Henrietta Wright.

DNA experts analyzed item in sexual assault kit. An oral swab was taken, a buccual swab from her mouth. It was found to contain sperm. DNA male profile from sperm matched to the unique DNA profile, belonging to the defendant Lonnie Franklin.

Victim #4 - Bernita Sparks

March 16, 1987, the same detective from the Wright case was called out. Bernita was found in a trash dumpster. This is the first one, hidden behind trash bags and a wooden board. Her shirt was off and she had no panties or pants. Initially documented as a Jane Doe until identified.

Each photo is so sad to look at. 

Dr. Lynne Herold collected the sexual assault kit. She's retired, but she will testify about collection. Pay close attention to Dr. Herold. She has expertise in many fields and is a wealth of information. She’s also quite a character. [I adore Dr. Herold. I've had the pleasure to get to know her personally.] The autopsy concluded she was hit in the back of the head. The coroner removed a bullet. Toxicology tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. The coroner who performed the autopsy retired and another will testify.

The same 25 automatic was used to kill Bernita Sparks as the previous victims. DNA profile was developed from the victim's right nipple swab that matched the profile of the defendant. Pay attention to that. You will see that pattern in other cases.

Victim #5 - Mary Lowe
Six and a half months later, Mary Lowe was found November 1, 1987. She was found in an alley next to a cinder block wall and hidden in some shrubbery. She was face down. Her pants were unbuttoned and half unzipped. No underwear but was wearing a bra. There was no identification on the body. Lloyd Mahaney, collected the criminal assault kit. Another employee who worked along beside him on this case, will testify. Autopsy found the same cause of death [as the others] gunshot wound to the chest. Noticed stippling on the chest so she was shot at close range. Toxocology screen tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. LAPD firearms examiners determined that the same firearm killed Mary Lowe as all the others.

A crime lab in Sacramento, tested material from the right niple swab, that matched the defendants unique profile.

Victim #6 - Lachrica Jefferson

January 30, 1988, Lachrica Jefferson. This was the first of the 8 cases connected to a serial killer.  She was found lying underneath a mattress like Wright, lying next to a cinder block wall. A napkin was placed over her face with the word AIDS written on it. She had pants and shirt, but no undergarments.

Her body transferred before evidence photos were taken. It was believed she died due to a drug overdose rather than a murder. Two crack pipes were found on her body. From the autopsy, the coroner found two gunshot wounds to her left chest area. The sexual assault kit was collected back at the coroner’s office. Dr. Susan Selser conducted the autopsy.

[I recognize the name of the coroner. Dr. Selser conducted Sherri Rasmussen's autopsy.]

Dr. Selser removed 2 fired 25 caliber bullets from Lachrica's body. The toxicology report showed her body tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. Firearms examiners determiend it was the same firearm uised in the murders investigated by the LAPD. Examined the sexual assault evidence. Male DNA profile from the left nipple swab, matched to the defendant's unique profile.

Victim #7 - Alicia Alexander
Seven-and-a-half months later, Alicia Alexander was found dead on September 11, 1988. Her body was concealed under a foam rubber mattress pad in an alley, up against a wall. Wright and Jefferson were also hidden under mattresses in alleys. Alexander was found completely naked. A sweatshirt was used as a ligature. No identification was found on her. Body was in an advanced state of decomposition.  A limited sexual assault kit was conducted by Lloyd Mahaney. Another expert will testify for him. The autopsy determined the cause of death was a single gunshot wound with stippling [on the skin].  The coroner also noted the bullet track. The toxicology screen tested positive for alcohol and cocaine. The same 25 automatic was used to kill Alexander as the other victims.

Victim #8 - Sole Survivor, Enietra Washington

Last case from 1988 involves our sole surviving victim. November 20, 1988 Enietra Washington was walking on her way home, getting ready to go to a party that night. She used marijuana and cocaine. The defendant was driving a very obvious, unique orange Pinto. Although a stranger to her, he tried to get her attention, to give her a ride. She was hesitant at first but then got into this decked out Pinto. He engaged her in conversation. He asked if he could come and long and she said yes.

[Unfortunately, at this time I lose power on my laptop. I had forgotten to plug my computer into my RAVPOWER, backup power supply. I had to find it in my purse, plug it in, and wait for the screen to come back. I miss quite a bit of Enietra's encounter with her attacker. I apologize.]

She was shot then the defendant took a photo of her in the car. She got to her friend’s house and collapsed on the front porch. Her friend found her on her front porch bleeding. She told her friend, "Don’t let me die." She had two young kids at the time. Ambulance transported her from this home to Harbor UCLA hospital for a gunshot wound to her chest. She remained in the hospital for approximately 18 days from her injuries. 

The doctor removed a fired 25 caliber bullet during surgery. It was picked up by LAPD evidence and transferred ot the lab for analysis. Thoughout many interviews, she gave detailed acounts about what occurred. She gave details about the orange Pinto and gave descriptions about what it looked like. Over the time that has passed, she has blocked out some memories.

[I believe DDA Silverman tells the jury there are several pieces of evidence that fit together like a puzzle.] Objection! [There are several objections in a row. I believe some were sustained.]

As a jury, you will have various pieces of evidence, that you will be able to piece together. There will be independent evidence, that support Enietra's statements. He stopped the car on the same street where he lived. The bullet removed from her body. The photo. The defendant owned an orange Pinto with white stripes at the time of her attack. A Polaroid taken by the defendant, when she was still in the Pinto, was found in his possession 30 years later. You'll hear about that.

I hear sounds coming from behind me. It's several of the family members who are seated behind me in the gallery. 

DDA Silverman tells the jury that Enietra, she provides a sort of blueprint, to the victims that are unable to speak and tell their stories now.

LAPD examiners analyzed the bullet and discovered that it matched to the same 25 automatic that killed [all the other victims]. DDA Silverman lists all the prior victims names.

After that point in late1988 there were no further murders connected to that firearm. And at the time, it seemed to be that she [Enietra] was the last victim.

Victim #9 - Princess Berthomieux

On March 9, 2002, Princess Berthomieix was found in an alley. She's in bushes, nude, like Alexander. She's buried in the bushes next to a garage. She was transferred to the coroner's as a Jane Doe. Collected a sexual assault kit. The autopsy determined the cause of death was asphixa due to strangulation. There was hemorrhaging, petecia hemoragging in the eyes.

There are autopsy photos of her head neck and chest. The LA County Sheriff’s did the DNA testing due to agreement with Inglewood Police. A male DNA profile was developed from the right nipple swab. The profile matched the defendant.

Victim #10 - Valerie McCorvey

One-and-a-half years later, on July 11, 2003, Valerie McCorvey was found in an alley. She was dumped. A very distinctive ligature mark encircling her neck.

Photo on he overhead screen shows a thick, black line around her neck.

Her body suit was pulled down exposing the top of her breasts and one of her nipples. And her pants were pulled down exposing her buttocks. Sexual assault kit was taken.  At autopsy, the cause of death was ligature strangulation. Toxicology screen tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.  DNA testing at the Dept. of Justice tested items from the assault kit. The male profile on the victim’s left nipple swab matched up to the defendant’s DNA profile.

Victim #11 - Janecia Peters
Three-and-a-half years later, on January 1, 2007, Janecia Peters was found in a trash dumpster. She was found very close to where Benita Sparks was found years before. She was discovered inside a sealed plastic trash bag, inside a dumpster. Just like Sparks, and covering the torso and head of Ware.

The entire trash dumpster was transported to the coroner’s forensic lab. She was folded over in the trash bag.The trash bag was sealed with a zip tie. That zip tie proved to be a critical piece of evidence in the murder of Janeica Peters.  She was shot in the back, the gunshot wound along with the asphyxiation, figured into cause of death. The toxocology screen tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. A different firearm, 25 caliber was used to kill the victim. DNA analyst at a DNA lab, Cellmark, tested the zip tie. A male DNA profile was developed from the zip tie, and it matched the defendant.

John's Incredible Pizza

On July 2, 2010, the LAPD began undercover surveillance of the defendant. He left in the center of the night to go trawling. Drove up and down streets in South LA known for prostitution. They followed him to a place called John's Incredible Pizza.

A detective spoke to the manager, telling the manager as little as they could. The manager provided him with a buss boy uniform, so he could [blend in and hopefully recover items touched by the defendant].

During the trial you will see the collection of several DNA samples from the defendant by Detective Stone from that pizza restaurant. A plate handed over to Stone, who packaged each of the items for analysis. DNA profiles were developed from some of these items. The profile matched to the unknown male profile from the assault kits, and the zip tie. So at this point, law enforcement identified the killer.

He was arrested on July 7, 2010. He was transported to DNA headquarters. [LAPD] collected a buccal swab and a blood sample. This is done to develop a DNA reference profile. Used to compare to the victims from 1985 to 2007.

The LAPD, the LA County Sheriff’s Cellmark, California Dept of Justice, and Bodi Tech all [these] labs performed work in this case.

Once he [Franklin] was transported, he was placed in an interview room. I’ll tell you now, we cut out portions. You’ll also have the entire CD that covers the entire span. [We are] only going to play the part covering [when they were] speaking.

During that time, Dennis Kilcoyne will lay out the facts of the case. They will show the defendant, worked at LA City Sanitation.

They show him photo after photo of the victims. The defendant denies ever having contact with any one of them. He denies ever knowing any of them, and calls one of them fat and one of them butt ugly. When confronted with the fact that his DNA connects him he has no explanation. Pay attention to his body language and comments as he laughs and makes fun of the dead woman presented in front of him.

DDA Silverman shifts to the search warrants conducted on Franklin's property. Massive search. Involved approximately 50 people [over three days].

Approximately 800 items of evidence, including tons of ammunition, including those consistent with the bullets recovered, and stashes of cash over the property. They also discovered 10 different firearms.

One of the guns collected from the defendant’s home, matched the gun used on Janeica Peters. The defendant kept pictures of various women. Investigators found the photo of Enitria Washington. She’s leaning against the passenger door, just as she described [having her photo taken] 20 years earlier.

During the search warrant, they also found a photo of Janeica Peters alive, along with several other photos of young women, evidence tying defendant to the crime.

He is conclusively connected either by DNA evidence or firearm evidence to each and every one of the victims.

Because of the passage of so much time, some of the witnesses have retired or passed away, and other witnesses will have to testify in their place.  Also, some witnesses, will be out of order.  Will try to let you know which witnesses are related to each crime.

Some of the witnesses might testify to more than one crime scene or might testify to several crime scenes at the same time. At the end of our time together, Ms. Rizzo and I will ask that you convict the defendant of each of the allegations.

DDA Silverman goes down the list of all the eleven victims.
The first degree murder of, ...The attempted murder of Enietra Washington, The first degree murder of .... Last, DDA Silverman tells the jury about the special circumstances of counts that involved a firearm, and the special circumstances of multiple murders.

And the people have concluded their opening statement. DDA Silverman spoke for less than 70 minutes.

The defense tells the court they will reserve their opening statement.

10:58 AM
Beth Silverman is finished and the jurors get a morning break.

11:01 AM
Beth Silverman goes into the gallery and apologizes to specific family members. “I”m sorry. ... I’m sorry.” She then addresses another woman, “Mary, are you okay?”

During the break, Judge Kennedy's bailiff put copies of the chart of victims, the people's exhibit #1 on each juror's chair.

11:18 AM

The court goes back on the record. Franklin has been brought out.  The jurors are brought back into the courtroom. Most of the gallery is out in the hallway and not back inside yet. I stayed inside the courtroom. The court explains to the jurors about the chart that was placed on their seat during the break and how some witnesses will testify out of order.

DDA Rizzo calls their first witness, Detective Dennis Kilcoyne

1. DENNIS KILCOYNE

Are you currently employed?
No.
What was your prior employment?
I worked for the LAPD as a detective.
How long were you employed as a detective?
36 years.
How many investigations in your 36 years?
Probably in excess of a thousand maybe more.
How many were murders?
Probably in the 400 range. ... Last few years I was as a supervisor to investigate the crimes you’re talking about. ... in RH Division [Robbery Homicide].

We began the task force in June 2007. The purpose was to investigate a series of murders that had occurred in 2002, 2003, and 2007, and to research back to see if there were any other murders going back decades. Initially there were eight detectives, including a supervisor and an analyst.

The witness is asked to give a history of this task force. Initially the RH Dividion is made up of several units within the division. Two homicide units that handle current, ongoing murder cases. There’s bank squad, sexual assault squad, a Robbery Squad, and then there was our Cold Case homicide unit.

In May, a supervisor notified by our lab, that a murder occurred in the 77th Division, the Janecia Peters case. The lab had made a case to case hit, and to a case in 2003 and 2002 in Inglewood. The DNA profile of the suspect was unique to one individual.

Supervisor came talk to me, and then we talked to our captain, discussed that we had a serial killer [operating] in 2002, 2203 and 2007. Someone killing ladies in South Los Angeles.

Defense: Objection, that the testimony is limited to the task force and how it was formed. Judge Kennedy gives the jurors an instruction.

They have a meeting with his Captain, the boss of RHD, and now sitting in front of the Chief of Police William Bratton, they would begin an investigative task force to look into these crimes and expand the search to see if there was any other relative information.



It’s not like TV, it takes 3-4 weeks to pull this together. Later, in June of ’07. Immediately we recognized that the three current cases we had, were individuals in a certain part of the city, young black females. All three had been discarded and killed elsewhere. So we expanded our search to researching cases in City of Los Angeles. In the archives, there's thousands of unsolved murder cases.

Describes the beginnings of their expanded research and the analyst, who was a civilian, who did research to input information into the computer. Asking her [the civilian] to search data base as far back as she can go, in that part of the city.

Almost immediately, there’s a series in the 1980’s, that you heard about a little bit ago, that jumped out at us. It was the same area of the city, young black females, In the 1980’s it was referred to as the "25 caliber" series. 

Did you make any connection between the older series and the more recent series?
Not immediately. It takes months and month.
Did you [eventually] make some connection?
We did. ... We started making DNA connection from the 2000 series to the 1980 series and connecting the dots.
Did you have DNA evidence from the murders that was classified as the 25 series?
There was and there wasn’t. We didn’t even know how to spell DNA back then.

We had evidence from sexual assault kits. Back then the kits [were tested for] ABO typing, but now we’re applying [current] science from the 1980’s series. Gone over one case at a time so there’s no cross mix-up. Then we’re notified that we have the same profile from the 1980’s series to the 2000 series.

Did you send some of the evidence collected in the 1980’s series to the lab?
We did.
Did you get results?
We did.
What did you do with that result?
Well, we got our list, in tracking various cases, that we’re quite certain are connected. The gun from the 2000 is not the same as the 1980. ... So now we’re looking at 11 cases.

There’s an objection and sidebar.

Did you after compiling all the results and looking into these investigations, did you determine there was a common profile that linked these victims.

Objection! Sustained.
What did you find?
Objection! Sustained.

Based on the results of the DNA evidence that was returned from the lab, what did you do next?
We began to search data bases, for a DNA profile. LE has access to a couple of DNA data banks. There's lots of them out there, but LE has access to search, specific data bases of DNA from state and federal governments that keep the information.

Were you able to identify a suspect at this point?
No.
Did you continue to do some traditional investigative type work on these cases?

Yes we did.
Did you talk to family members about the victims?
Myself or someone else did.
Did you get a sense of the type of victim that was murdered in both series?

We found all were young, African American females. They lived in a portion of the city of LA. Some but not all had histories of prostitution. Some but not all had histories of drug abuse. So the common denominator was the area, being young African American, the zip code as to where they lived and the way they were discarded.

Were you able to develop a timeline of the murders that were traced back to the unidentified suspect?
Yes we did.
Were you able to see, people’s exhibit four up on the screen?
Yes.

It’s an image timeline of each of the crimes. The upper list across the top of the page is the 1980's murders. The lower list across the bottom is 2000 murders.

There are victims that were investigated by LAPD?
Correct.
Were some investigated by other jurisdictions?
Yes.
Whose case was investigated by other jurisdictions.

Princess Berthomieux, by Inglewood.
Lachrica Jefferson by LASD.
The rest were by LAPD.

Were you involved in the original investigation of any of these murders?
No I was not.

DDA Rizzo now goes over each witness and asks when each of these victims were found.
Objection. Sustained.

Now showing the jurors People’s 1, the list that the people have given the jurors.

Based on number of murders investigated in your career, can you describe the procedures used in the cases by LAPD?
Yes.

Using the exhibit as reference, the witness identifies what the particular numbers are in the different columns.

Referring to Debora Jackson. Go four columns over, and that’s the LAPD case number. The detective explains that the LAPD numbers their cases in the following way. The first two digits signify the year. The second two digits signify the station that responded to the incident or crime scene. The last series of numbers is the unique number of the case responded to. Detective Kilcoyne tells the jury that the LAPD refers to them as "DR" numbers, meaning, Daily Report numbers.

Kilcoyne explains whenever a crime is committed/identified, the reference number stays the same with that DR number. Throughout the investigation, if evidence is found they would book that information under that DR number. That DR number sticks with it until the end of time. It’s never reused. Everything that pertains to that one case, is booked under that DR number. It’s always the same.

Explains the coroner’s office and their numbering system. The coroner's office doesn't handle just homicides. It’s not just homicides, its any death investigated by the coroner’s office. The first number is the year, the next number is a sequential case number.

Explains what “Jane Doe #59” means. After midnight at the first of the year. Unidentified person brought to the coroner’s and that case will be given an number. The number is not assigned until fingerprints are run through fingerprint system. They never reuse a Jane Doe or John Doe number.

Explains the column “count” on the document. This is the count number charged in this case.

Now looking at the next row, for the next victim. Verifies the unique DR assigned to Henrietta Wright and the coroner’s number. The column SAK# stands for Sexual Assault Kit Number.

Witness is asked to explain was a sexual assault kit is. That the coroner’s investigators collection of 15 items [from the body]. There’s blood, there’s vials, there’s pubic combing,  [etc].

Is there a SAK collected on every murder victim?
Women usually. Men sometimes.

It's 11:59 AM

Judge Kennedy tells DDA Rizzo that this is a good time to break.

The noon break is called.

I exit the courtroom as quickly as I can. When I get to the security station and elevator lobby, I see it's already packed with people from other courtrooms. I tell the deputies at the security station that a mass of people are coming out of Dept. 109. I ask if they could open up the stairwell. They do and I race down to the eight flights to the cafeteria to get  a salad and start editing my notes.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Back on the 9th floor, I run into Mona Shafer Edwards, the famous sketch artist in the ladies restroom. I ask her what case she's here for. It's Franklin. What other case is there?

In the hallway outside of Dept. 109, I see new reporters showing up for the afternoon session. Terri Keith from City News is here. For the first time, I note that Judge Pastor's name is on Dept. 110's door, Judge Ito's former courtroom. I'm surprised and mention it to the attorney [whom I don't know] sitting beside me. I'm informed that they brought Judge Pastor up her to this floor to just do preliminary hearings. I thought that's what he was doing in Dept. 51.

Next to me on the bench is a large black man who was sitting in the area of the gallery marked "defense family." With him was an older woman in a wheelchair. As I'm sitting on the bench, defense attorney Dale Atherton and Kristen Gozawa arrive and give the man a hug. I later learn these two individuals were identified as defense investigators.

1:32 PM - Inside Dept. 109
It too hot inside the courtroom. There was a hope that by the afternoon, it would cool off but it's just as hot as it was in the morning session. I took over my light sweater a long time ago.

DDA Beth Silverman greets Mona Edwards and they have a moment of catching up. Beth's parents are sitting in the gallery. I don't know if they were here for the morning session.  DDA Silverman tells her mom, pointing to Mona, then making a self-deprecating , "She looks the same [referring to a prior trial of Beth's years ago that Mona covered] but me, 'this.' " If you check out some of mainstream media videos that have clips of DDA Silverman's opening statement, you'll see she's a slender, attractive woman. Me, I long to have the waistline that Beth has, but that ship has sailed.

Back in the front row with me are Stephen from the LA Times, Hillel Aron from the LA Weekly and People Magazine's Christine Pelisek. I see other reporters in the back row. One is a documentary reporter I remember seeing at some of the later pretrial hearings.

The courtroom is not nearly as packed at the morning, but it's still quite hot i here.

1:38 PM
Counsel are set up at their respective tables, and Franklin is brought out. I note that he is not restrained by a belt or handcuffs or anything to the chair. Sitting at the defense table, he looks diminutive. He has a small frame. The LA County Sheriff's website indicates his height is 5 feet, seven inches.

1:40 PM

Judge Kennedy's bailiff calls out to the gallery, "Make sure your cell phones are turned off!"

We're back on the record. The court asks the parties if they are ready for the jury.

Even though the prosecution is not finished with their first witness, they are going to interrupt his testimony to take the testimony of a witness who is leaving the country the next day.

2. Dr. LISA SCHEININ

DDA Beth Silverman presents the witness.

Are you employed?
No, I am not.
Are you retired?
Yes I am. I was a deputy medical examiner for the LA county Coroner's Office.

She retired in November 2014. She explains what a coroner is and that every deputy coroner at LA County are licensed doctors. Dr. Scheinin gives her CV and explains the different disciplines. She did about a minimum 3,000 autopsies, probably closer to 4,000 when you calculate she did about 200 a year.

DDA Silverman is now directing her to a specific case, the last victim, Janecia Peters. Based on her identification, Janeica was 25 years old and weighed 111 pounds. She was 64 inches tall, which was 5 feet 4 inches.

Who performs the identification?
The coroner's investigator.

It's done through a variety of ways: fingerprints, visual photo ID or sometimes dental records.

Did you prepare a report?
Yes I did.
Does this report contain all of your observations and  findings?
Yes.
Does it contain pre-assembled diagrams?
Yes. ... Diagrams are done usually at the time of autopsy. Occasionally additional information is documented a short time later.
Can anyone request a copy?
Any family member or anyone of the public can request a copy. They are considered public documents.

Dr. Scheinin explains how the decedents come into the coroners office and what happens.

Everyone [who] comes in, gets an identification photo as they come in. Homicides, and other cases, get additional photos. We have staff that does nothing but take photos. Photos are taken before an autopsy is performed. She explains how the body is prepared. The clothes are removed and then the body is washed and cleaned. In cases of possible homicide, they will usually do what is called a fluoroscope, looking for foreign objects and then document them with x-rays. It's a moving x-ray. The body passes through something, and you're seeing a moving x-ray. If something interesting is located then you can stop and take an x-ray. The coroner talks about bindings and ligatures and how they are documented with photographs.

People's exhibit 220. Four photographs on the page. Photo A is a photo of the victim still inside the plastic bag. I'm having a hard time keeping myself from getting emotional looking at the evidence photos of Janecia's body. Photo B, Janecia is doubled up into what they call the fetal position and she's inside a trash bag that's been partially opened. Now a side view of her body. She's completely naked inside the bag. Photo D. She's on her side, on an exam table. The view is of her back. You can see blood on her back. The witness is point out where the gunshot wound is. The wound is in the mid back on the lower portion. On the actual person, it's down the mid-line of the back on the spinal column. The wound is below the shoulder blades.

It's unbelievably sad.

A new exhibit of photos of her body. The body has been cleaned up more now. It's stretched out, lying on it's side. Her head has a support. Photo B, the mid-back area. Photo C is a close up of Janeica's face. There is a bit of blood on her face but no wounds. This is the type of photo that would be taken for LE to use to identify the decedent. There's comment on the plastic she's lying on. Bodies are transported wrapped in plastic to keep them from getting blood on everything.

Exhibit 222, a page from the autopsy report, form "20" which is a standard body sketch, front and back diagram. This page was used to document the general description of the body such as scars, scabs and tattoos.  Looking over at the jury, they appear interested.

Exhibit 222 B. Same diagram again, but this one used to indicate the significant finding, specifically the gunshot wound. the bullet entry would was on the - of the back. She had no wounds on her hands. There was no visible trauma to the private parts. There were no hemorrhage of the muscles in the neck.

The witness testifies she would look at the strap muscles [in the neck] to look for strangulation, the hyloid bone, and didn’t find any evidence of injury there. She felt the cause of death was the gunshot wound to the back and involved the spinal cord. There was definitely an injury to the spinal cord. It was at the lower thoracic level, T7 at the 7th thoracic vertebrae.

It went into the back of the T7 vertebrae, went through the spinal cord then lodge into the front of the bone. There was epidural hemorrhage in that area, in the spinal canal. It’s not in the cord itself, but outside. She was alive when she was shot and damage [occurred] in the spinal cord itself. From the gunshot wound, the victim would have had some degree of paralysis below the injury so she would not have been able to move her legs. She could have experienced spinal shock. With spinal shock, she could have experienced temporary paralysis in other areas [of her body]. Another complication in this case could have a paralysis that innervate the nerves of the diaphragm and make it difficult for her to breathe. She could easily have trouble breathing because of spinal shock. That could easily be the cause of death by itself but that’s a significant factor.

How long would that stage last before she couldn’t breathe?
Two to three minutes, could have been more.
So she could have been struggling two to three minutes to get air in her lungs?[Yes.]

Dr. S explains the process of which muscles need to move to get enough air into the lungs.

The trajectory?
It’s back to front and very slightly up from her right to her left.
Hypothetical question. If this victim was seated in the right front passenger vehicle, and was shot by the person sitting to her left?
Yes, it could have been one explanation for this.

Now we see photographs taken at coroner’s office and the position she was found in.
Was that a reaction to the gunshot wound?
No.
Was she folded into this position?

Yes.
Did you remove the bullet from the back?

I did.

Exhibit 226 A
Photo of envelopes. Small envelope is used whenever they recover a bullet or bee-bee. They use this type of envelope to preserve it as evidence. Points out the identifications on the envelope.

Describes the bullet and that it had a full copper jacket/sheet.

Exhibit 225 a photo of the bullet. It’s the bullet she recovered.

2:18 PM
I am watching the clock for the afternoon break because I'm starting to get sleepy.

Did you have any information based on what you observed on the body as to the range of fire
No, nothing.
No clothing that had any residue on it?
Correct.
You alluded to potentially another issue. Did you find that there was potentially another cause of death in this case?
I felt there was a possibility of asphyxiation, because the face was much more congested than the rest of the body. She hand petechiae in the eyelid.
Those typically have those when you have asphyxia?
Yes.

She thought these were typical where, when you have neck compression where the throat area is compressed and blood flow from the brain is cut off.

What’s a bar arm hold?
It’s a type of hold that used to be done by the police that isn’t really done anymore, but the would have the person’s head between the arm and chest. It's a type of compression of the carotid. She's seen that very rarely.
Usually see the other two, which is ligature or manual strangulation.

If the body had manual strangulation usually they don’t see petechiae, or marks on the neck with the hand strangulation. Soft ligatures, like a towel, or item of clothing will effectively compress the neck but not dig in deep enough to leave a mark. Many kinds of shirts can do that.

First, they both occurred, the gunshot occurred when she was still alive, as well as the neck compression.
What occurred first?
Her feeling is, most likely is the gunshot wound occurred first, but she didn’t die right away. She would have been gasping for breath and struggling so he [the assailant] completed the job by strangling her.

Petechiae is a big clue, a red flag that you are dealing with asphyxia.

How long would it take to asphyxiate someone?
Generally the books state about two minutes. But in general, a person will lose consciousness within 10 to 20 seconds. Once the oxygen in the brain used up, the person will go unconscious. Then with progressive time, you will have brain damage and ultimately death.

Once someone loses consciousness, if pressure removed, would they regain consciousness?
Yes. That’s how a carotid sleeper hold works.
If you're talking about the fact that the literature indicates two minutes, would that be constant neck pressure?
[Yes.]
So approximately neck pressure for two minutes before that person would expire.

She didn’t see any other trauma on the body. No defense wounds on the body. She had appliques on her fingernails, [acrylic nails] except for the middle finger of one hand was missing.

Acrylic applied on her nails.

Could that be significant of a struggle?

It could. ... They routinely check all homicide cases for alcohol and commonly abused drugs.
She took a toxicology screen and a blood sample.

Tells the jury where the blood is taken from and if a preservative is in with the sample.

DDA Silverman is trying to get the results of the toxicology reports in via the coroner. The defense is objecting because she did not perform the test. Judge and counsel are at sidebar. 

The jurors at this end of the box are looking at Mona sketching. The smell of Mona's many colored markers are starting to get to me.

The bailiff comes over to one of the alternate jurors and tells her she cannot chew gum.

Sidebar is over. Exhibit 230.

This is one of the forms that we use in our office to document and evidence transfer from one agency to another.
Is this a standard document for every coroner’s case.
As needed, yes.

All the items listed on the evidence log for this case are reviewed, showing where the items were logged in and when they were logged out.

Next evidence presented is an envelope. Inside the envelope is another smaller envelope. This envelope contains a bullet the coroner recovered from Janecia. All the controls to document custody and seals are described to the jury.

There are no further questions.

CROSS EXAMINATION
Seymour Amster gets up to cross the witness.

I believe you stated that you observed one gunshot wound the deceased suffered?
Yes.

Asks about what she testified, regarding the trajectory, back to front, left to right. Spinal cord was the only major injury caused.

It would not have restricted her arms or her hands?
No.
Did not find marks [defensive wounds] where the defendant wanted to fight off the assailant.

Did you examine underneath the fingernails for DNA.

I did not. That was done by criminalist, not by me.
Did not notice any damage to other fingernails.

What are defensive wounds?
They are incurred when trying to ward off defensive blows.
Do you remember any defense wounds?
I did not see any.
Did you find petechiae hemorrhaging on one lower eyelid?
Yes.
And nothing else?
Yes.

Can vomiting cause petechiae hemorrhaging?
I’ve never seen it.
Can drug overdose cause it?
No. ... Stroke and heart attack are the other most common causes.

Amster paces as he questions.
Now he questions her about DDA Silverman's hypothetical about how the gunshot wound could have occurred.

That was only one particular scenario. She could have been on the ground, she could have been standing up?
Yes. There are a number of particular scenarios.

The witness not find indications of external pressure on the neck. She is asked if she calculated back, to determine when Janecia could have been killed. There is a formula to do it.  Body temp was 74 degrees, [when taken at the scene by the criminalist. Normal is 99 degrees, so you use the difference so we have 25 degrees. You lose 1.5 [degrees] of body heat per hour.  It came out to 16 and 2/3 hours, then count back from the time the actual temperature was taken. That goes back to the approximate the time the victim was killed.

Could you rule out cause of death as drug overdose?
There was not sufficient quantity [of drugs] to cause an overdose.
Heart attack or stroke?
No.

She did not find any trauma consistent with sexual assault.

The toxicology report. what did it show?
She was positive for cocaine (this is in the blood), and a metabolite of cocaine. That’s a breakdown product of cocaine that’s not active on the body. And also positive for marijuana. The amount of those drugs in her body ruled out them being a cause of death.

Estimate [for time of death] about 4:30 am give or take a few hours.
Isn’t it also based on body temp and ligature and rigor?
Yes.
Asks her to explain rigor mortis.

When do you start to see that stiffening?
It starts about 4 hours after death and goes for about 12 hours then dissipates over the same amount of time.

Explains lividity and how blood pools in the body.

She saw lividity in the body. It can show quickly, within 2 or 3 hours. It goes through being unfixed, not coagulated in the blood vessels. Fixed lividity (blood that has coagulated) is about 4 to 6 hours.

Factors that affect body temperature. Being in a cold environment, being clothed, many other things. There are whole books written on this subject. If there is a breeze on the body, if the body is on a particular type of surface.

She’s also going by the liver temp that the coroner’s examiner takes on scene. That’s why this estimate is very imprecise.

CROSS ENDS, REDIRECT BEGINS

Did you see fixed lividity?
I believe I said it was dorsal, which is on the back.

And that's it for this witness. The defense asks that she be on call. The people state, she’s leaving the country. She’s returning in March, and she will be on-call when she returns.

 3:10 PM - Afternoon Break
During the break, Detective Kilcoyne, Amster and Atherton are joking about playing one on one basketball. Detective Kilcoyne is very tall, well over six feet. Seymor Amster is significantly shorter. Kilcoyne states he will play one on one with Amster.

3:26 PM
Judge takes the bench and the defendant is brought back out. There is a sidebar and gallery people start to come back into court.

Judge Kennedy addresses the courtroom. “There’s been a request, to speak to everyone. ... There are family members of the victims in the audience” The court mentions that there have been sounds, [weeping? comments?] coming from the gallery.

The court addresses the gallery. "But expression of those feelings in the presence of the jury is not fine. So making audible or making faces is not permitted. The jury will make the decisions that they make but not from the people in the audience."

Judge Kennedy adds, "It’s come to my attention that one of the jurors approached the witness and wanted to ask a question. I want to make this clear, but your not permitted to talk to any witness or ask any questions outside the record. You must base you decisions on what is presented on the record. You can’t speak to anyone in the hallway, the attorneys, the audience, any member of the case."

Then smiling, she promises the jurors, "I’ve been promised that they will have the A/C fixed by tomorrow. ... Next witness please.

#3 RAFFI DJABOURIAN

DDA Silverman presents the witness.

Can you tell us how you are employed?
Senior deputy medical examiner.
[How long?]
17 years and 1/2. ... Came to coroner’s in 1998.

Tell us about your training background.
Conducted roughly 4200 autopsies. Has testified roughly 250 times. He did a residency at Cedars.

March 12, 2002. did you conduct an autopsy, on a Jane Doe 15, coroner case number 2002-1950, later identified as Princess  Berthomieux?
[Yes.]
[Describe her height and weight?]
She was 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds.

He prepared an autopsy report. And made notations on coroner’s diagrams. Photos were taken at time of autopsy.

Exhibit 173. Photo of the victim, lying on the table. From the photo, I see Princess is naked and been prepared for autopsy. She was a tiny, slender girl. She’s so slender, I can see her hip bones.

These photos are mainly used as one of several identifying photographs.

Sadness overcomes me looking at this murdered, 15 year old child. There are marks along the right side of her body. The witness identifies it as postmortem insect activity.

Exhibit 177 Form 20 where he documented what he observed. She was Jane Doe #15 until identified. The witness described various notes he took of marks on the body. He found hemorrhage in the eyes. Both ears were pierced. Some scars at the knees. He had a consult come in and look at the genital area. When he viewed the body the rigor was gone. The liver mortis was on the right side.

There were some unusual thickened skin on the back of the buttocks, possibly a chemical burn or rash. It was unrelated to the cause of death. There was nail polish. One nail broken on the left hand.
Did not see any trauma to the anal area.

Second diagram, postmortem activity, predominantly on the right side of the body very little on the back of the body.

Exhibit 178 Diagram of head/neck area. The witness explains the notations he made regarding findings on the diagram. Inside the mouth, he did not see tears or petechiae inside the mouth.
Both eyes show areas of hemorrhage on the whites of the eyes. It was confluent, meaning it covered a large area, in the sclera of the eyes In the pink lining of the eyes, there were several petechiae hemorrhages. It means it’s very tiny pinpoint areas of bleeding. Petechiae signifies there’s pressure and the blood vessels can’t hold it and they start rupturing.

Saw on the back of the head, a prominent diagonal abrasion. Also saw some scrapes, blunt force injuries, called abrasion. Saw some scraping of the skin in another area. On the right side of the face and head, did find abrasion of the skin. It had an angled pattern, and L shape. There were other distinct abrasions on the right side of the neck.

Saw Petechiae in the temporalis muscle on the right side of the head. He then did a dissection layer by layer in the muscles of the neck and organs of the body. Another diagram of the internal structures of the neck of the body. On the internal examination of the neck, he saw two of the muscles, areas of hemorrhage, and saw a third area of hemorrhage along the carotid artery on the left side of the neck. Did not find any fractures.

It would be almost impossible to see fractures in the larynx or hyloid in someone this young because [those structures] they are not fully formed yet.

One of the things you just mentioned was the mark?
That was to the back of the neck.

Photo 171 B shows the actual injury, diagonal in nature, going from left to right, downward at an angle.

Exhibit 174 Three photos.
Photo A. is photo of Princess’ face.
Photo B, you can see the angulation of the skin, the scrape I described earlier.
Photo C close up of the angular-looking abrasion.

Exhibit 176 A,
Another photo of the right angle injury in the right side of her neck.
Photo B close up of the right flank and right arm, documenting postmortem insect activity.

Exhibit 175 Photo A, B, C
Is enlarged photos of the eyes, showing the lesions and findings in the eye.
The eye linings are inverted to show the petechiae hemorrhaging here.

Shows the left eye. You can see the large hemorrhaging in the eye.

Based on the findings that you described for us, what was the cause of death?
Asphyxia due to strangulation.
Explains what asphyxia means.
It could be manual or ligature strangulation. There were not enough features on the body to determine which one. ... In some strangulation in the strap muscles of the neck, the petechiae can be quite prominent in the neck, others not as much.

This was a very strong case of strangulation. There was enough evidence to say exclusively a strangulation.
How long would it take?
Brain death takes a few minutes. ... Unconsciousness takes 10 to 20 seconds. ... After a few minutes, there are signs of irreversible brain damage.

Was a tox screen done on this case?
Took blood at time of autopsy.

Documents where the blood is taken from. She had no drugs or alcohol in her system.

4:03 PM
The courtroom is finally starting to feel cool.

The next exhibit, it looks like the evidence log for this case is passed by the defense, and they ponder over it for a minute. Then the defense asks for a sidebar.

Judge Kennedy calls the proceedings to a close and tells the jury they are stopping at 4:07 PM.

We will be continuing tomorrow with Dr. Djabourian. The court tells the jury they are going to start at 9 AM. She hen adds, "I know that all of you were not here at 9 am today. We will not have the same level of press tomorrow. We had a lot of press here today, and what did I tell you about that?"

Low mumbles in response.

"Turn it down, the TV, the radio. ... You need you to adhere to all the admonitions and I know you will do so. The witness is ordered back.

No other issues to take up. Counsel ordered back at 8:45 AM to settle a motion.

And that's it for the first day of trial.

2 comments:

David In TN said...

I recall a news story at the time of Franklin's arrest. LAPD surveillance found that he had a habit of driving around at night, seemingly "pointless." It looks like Franklin would have killed again if he hadn't been caught.

Neil Hilliard said...

This is very interesting, Followed the case for many years. It is a shame a serial killer was running loose and we didn't even have any idea. Thank you for updating with the trial information.