Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Closing Arguments Day One, Part II, Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper" Trial

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., during closing arguments, 5/2/16
Photo Credit: Pool Camera, Mark Boster, LA Times

Part I can be found HERE.

UPDATE 2:26 PM spelling, clarity
Monday May 2, 2016, Afternoon Session
1:44 PM
Inside Dept. 109. DDA Silverman comforts several family members in the gallery. The defendant is brought out and a minute after that, Judge Kennedy takes the bench. Judge Kennedy's bailiff calls out for all phones to be turned off, but his voice is weak, like he's getting a sore throat or going hoarse. We are ready for the jury, and they enter the courtroom from the jury room.

DDA Silverman welcomes the jury back.
"You know, and you've probably gathered this from when we began, I tend to be very thorough. I don't know what's going through your minds. I don't know what questions you have, but it's in the event that you go back into the jury room ..."

DDA Silverman tells the jury she will move onto the search warrant evidence, Janecia Peters search warrant evidence.

"They found the murder weapon that was utilized to kill Janecia Peters. They found it in the north west bedroom, inside a dresser drawer. It was inside a case. It had ammunition loaded into the gun. It was loaded with four rounds. In the same case with the magazine, 10 live rounds for a total of 14 live rounds of 25 [caliber] auto ammo. It was copper jacket. ... But it was either full metal jacket or total jacketed or copper jacketed ammo consistent with what was found around the house. ... The fiream was a Titan 25 auto. five inches long. It's often referred to as a 'pocket pistol' that you can put in your pocket and no one would be the wiser."

Photos of the murder weapon just described.

"Not only was this the type of ammo used to kill Janecia Peters, but it was also used to kill seven others and shoot Enietra  Washington. They found the receipt for the purchase of the murder weapon, purchased in 1982. Aerial number on the receipt matches up to the gun. ... They found the receipt in the southwest bedroom in a file cabinet. ... One of the addresses that was given [by the defendant] on the work records from the Dept. of Sanitation, is the same one that appears on the receipt. The location of this gun store, was on the same block as the old address of the defendant. Detective Dupree testified, the defendant [also] told detectives that on the video taped interview. ... They also found the defendants Bureau of Sanitation ID in the car he was driving during the surveillance. ... This is the photo of the Tital 25 auto."

The [firearm] evidence was analyzed by examiners that compared the test fired to each other. The same unique markings on the test fires were replicated and then compared to the coroner bullet which matched; rifled six right. Now we also heard from Ray Davis who was one of his friends for six years. He [] identified Janecia Peters that he saw with the defendant in 2006. She was in the back of a van, one of the vans that the defendant owned, and that he never saw her again after 2006.

"The reason that he recognized her, he remembered seeing her picture on the billboard that was offering a reward for information that would lead to the apprehension of the Grim Sleeper. ... Mr. Davis's testimony was corroborated in other respects. The lingerie and a picture of Janecia Peters of her alive was found [in the search warrants]. ... Remember the small refrigerator? The photo of her with one of her breasts exposed? They found this photo of Janecia Peters in this fridge. ... It appeared to be some kind of trophy chest. ... It was similar to the photo of Enietra Washington [that was] found behind the wall of the garage."

DDA Silverman goes over the different addresses of the defendant, and that "Western Surplus" [where weapon connected to 8 victims purchased] was just down the block [from defendant's home].

"In this case, there is a special circumstance, allegation of multiple murders. And the judge instructed you on the allegations. You must find the defendant committed at least one count of second degree murder and one or more crimes of murder of first degree. If you find all murders of first degree, then you must find this special allegation to be true. DDA Silverman explains how the special circumstance would apply in different situations.

DDA Silverman puts up photos of the victims again and talks about multiple murders. I see these photos and have to look away to keep my eyes from filling with tears.

Enietra Washington. She provided a blueprint for the murdered women who can't speak and can't tell you what happened. [Her testimony] will tell you how the defendant contacted her on the street, and lured her into this orange Pinto with white stripes. It stood out for her. It had custom wheels and custom tires. How she first refused a ride from him. [And then he taunted her. He said to her] That's what's wrong with you black women.  So she gets into this car with this unknown man. And he asked if he can go with her to this party [that she told him she was going to] and she said yes. [It was a public party. Anyone could go.]

He tells her he has to make a stop. He stops in front of the defendant's home on 81st Street. She remembers this because it had a side driveway. Then she looses sight of him. Then he gets back in the car and calls her Brenda. She corrects him. He continues to call her Brenda. He gets angry because he didn't feel that she was paying him the proper respect. He pulls out this gun. Then she doesn't see the gun and then the next thing she knows, everything goes quiet. The trajectory of that gunshot wound matches the others. Front to back, downward. And she's sitting in the front passenger seat.

She remembers the defendant pulling over. She believes she was sexually assaulted, and she remembers flashes from a polaroid camera. And at some point, he pushes her out of this moving vehicle, similar to the positioning of what we saw to victim Valerie McCorvey.

Enietra somehow makes it to her friend's house and passes out [on the front steps], where she is found by her friend and she says to her friend, "Don't let me die. Don't let me die." Enietra's friend saw her panties hanging off and that she was cold and she was sweating. [When the paramedics arrived, her blood pressure was so low, they put a pressure vest on her.] She was transferred to UCLA where she receives life saving medical treatment. 

She describes the clothing that he was wearing. He was wearing some type of uniform, a dark tan shirt. And it's the same type of tan shirt, when he comes in for an interview and he's arrested. Enietra provides many details, even though it's been 27 years, the details that she gave were right on the money. They were corroborated by evidence.

"She describes the Pinto. Ray Davis, says, Oh yeah, he had a car like that. She presents to the ER with a gunshot wound to her chest. The bullet happens to match up to the coroner's evidence from the other women."

She's shown a photo of the defendant from 1989. She said, that's how he looked at the time. She made an identifcation at the grand jury and also came into court and made another identification. She tells the court that the street she was taken to, where the defendant lives. That was consistent with what was on that street at the time. She remembers that when she gets in the vehicle, a mechanics tool box was on the floor. And what did we hear from Ray Davis? That he was a mechanic. And she also sees that school books are on the seats. He had two kidsat the time of Enietra's shootings. And sure enough, that Polaroid, that photograph that she claims the defendant took of her, in the right front seat of the defendant's car, is found in a wall. And a Polaroid camera is found in the defendant's home.

DDA Silverman goes over the charge of attempted murder and what the law details on attempted murder. He displayed a clear, unambiguous attempt to kill. Remember, at the time of Enietra Washington's [attempted] killing, he's already shot and killed seven other women in the same manner. 

The doctor who testified, he went through the medical records, and she was admitted on November 20, at 2 am. She was in the hospital until December 2. He testified she was in shock, that she had a gunshow wound to the chest that was life threatening. She would have bled to death in the next two hours. She had to be put in a compression jacket because her pressure was so low. Without medical intervention, it would have caused ... She had already lost 20 percent of all the blood in her body. She had to be stabilized before he could operate. The bullet just missed her heart and it was very close to the aorta. He operated on Enietra on November 23.

DDA Silverman now reviews the actions the defendant took that qualify this charge as attempted murder. Ray Davis provided some very important information. Some, provides independent corroboration as to what Washington testified to. [Ray] said that vehicle disappeared in 1989, right after Washington was shot in 1988. [Ray indicated?] when the defendant was done with a particular vehicle, he would take his vehicles to an auto dismantler. That's someone who crushes the vehicles, so no one can find it. Enietra Washington [told you] the defendant said, while she was in the car with him, he had done the work on the car himself. And that's exactly what we heard from Ray Davis. The mechanics tools in the car, they [Davis & Franklin], would regularly work on the car together.

Most significantly, we heard about the fact that law enforcement found the exact Polaroid having been taken of her and still seated in the front of the defendant's car. It was found by two detectives on July 9, during the search warrant; hiding behind a wall, boxes stacked in front of it. And 22 years later, detectives find the very photograph that Washington described. If you have evidence behind walls, that's evidence of consciousness of guilt.

Polaroids, that picture speaks a thousand words. There's not much else you need to know about Enietra Washington. She's leaning against the right passenger door. She's unconscious. Her breast is exposed. And it's clearly after the time she was shot and exposed in the same way as Janecia Peters. Detectives found a Polaroid camera on top of [?] during the search warrant. They also found boxes of 25 auto bullets, the same caliber as what shot the other victims inside the western garage.

Consciousness of guilt is explained. When you have a defendant hiding evidence, that was behind a will in the garage, or photos of murder victims. $17,000.00 in cash, behind the walls. Was this money to help him escape? Is this escape money or money he was going to use to try to lure more victims? When talking about consciousness of guilt, you're talking about trying to conceal. It's not just sitting out. It's behind a wall. As Enietra said, her attacker parked along the curb -she marked it on one of the exhibits- in front of the defendant's home, that happens to have a side driveway.

If all of that wasn't enough, as I mentioned, Dr. [Robertson?] removes the 25 [caliber] fired bullet recovered during surgery and transported over to LAPD. Firearms examiner Rubin analyzes it, microscopic comparison and matches it to the same 25 [caliber] auto that was unrecovered,that was used to kill seven other victims.

DDA Silverman mentions the people who performed individual analysis and reached the same conclusion. The special circumstances, or other allegations charged in this case. That the defendant personally used a firearm. And there are two of them. Applies to all victims except Princess and Valerie. To find this allegation true the defendant must have fired it and struck or hit a human being with it. Once again, it's a special allegation and you will find it to be true on the murder forms. DDA Silverman explains that the forms are different for Janecia, because the specific section didn't exist when she was shot.

Up on the overhead screen, are firearm matches image, linked to a single firearm.

And it's likely he kept that weapon all that time. We know he kept it because it used it over and over again We know this gun belonged to him because Enietra Washington. The Pinto. The photograph. Pulling up to his home. All that evidence connects this defendant to these crimes.

We also know that he's connected based on the DNA.

DDA Silverman shifts gears and talks about Franklin's 2010 interview.

He's wearing a khaki type tan work shirt. It has some type of writing on it, almost like a gas station attendant used to wear on the pocket.  We note that, there was a light in this interview room. And before the interview, this defendant sits in this room for a period of time. The light in the room goes out because he's sleeping. He's so unconcerned. They tell him he's being charged with multiple murders. He shows no surprise. What he does is, he laughs. He display a completely caviler attitude throughout the entire interview. He said, "I'm tripping on it." Like, I don't care. Such pure arrogance.

Detectives showed him pictures of the victims. He's shown live photos, how they would have looked at the time. So there would be no question, s to who they are talking about. And what does he say? And each of these women were murdered. He says, he never saw any of them. Never had any contact. He has no idea who they are. He has no clue how his DNA got on these women. He said himself, only one person can have a particular DNA profile. It's like a signature, it's like a thumbprint.

And he must have known that one dya, in watching the same shows that we all were watching on television, that his own DNA would come back to haunt him. But back in the 80's no one knew about DNA. No one could even spell it. The detective even said, that it was so slim that he could be connected to each of these [pieces of] evidence.

He killed lots of women ladies and gentlemen. He admits that he has no explanation, when told his luck was running out. And then he does what no one would do. Instead, what does this guy do? He laughs! He makes jokes! He laughs and their pictures, of ten dead women, who were brutally murdered, lying on the table in front of him. And on the face of that, he laughs. He's laughing in their faces. In fact, what does he say about some of these victims? Bernita Sparks, he says she looks fat. And he laughs. Who does that? He shows a complete lack of empathy, which is exact what was displayed at each and every one of the crime scenes. When shown a photo of Henrietta Wright, what does he say? He says she's butt ugly and laughs. He shows over and over during the interview, such a callous disregard, the same as what he showed to their bodies when he dumped them in the alleys.

He's asked if he saw the billboards. He jokes about the media calling him the Grim Reaper, as if giving him a moniker is something you would laugh at. He's amused, when Detective Kilcoyne refers to him as a billboard celebrity. When asked if he owns any guns he tells about the rifle. He mentions the 38 revolver. A 9 millimeter and a 22 pistol. That's the pistol that's referred to as a 22 long rifle pistol, that was found by [Allison Manfried?], and states those are the only guns he has. Conveniently, he forgets to mention the Tital auto. When he's asked about it, he plays dumb.

He talked about the 22 pistol, and how it could fit in his pocket. That's why he like the Tital, because it's easily concealed. So he can take victims by surprise. He got some of these guns from Western Surplus. The same location where the Tital 25 auto was purchased. Detectives even confronted him on the surveillance. The fact that he was out creeping. That's the word they use, andrather than deny it, he remembers law enforcement shining this light on him. And he remembers two prostitutes, that he claims he was making phone calls to; his girlfriends. And we know that the area is knwon for prostitution, is near the defendant's home.

Detective Kilcoyne tried to appeal to the defendant's conscience. That there have been family members who have been suffering for decades. He shows no emotion. Even when collecting evidence from him, he's cold as ice. No emotion. What Detective Kilcoyne said is absolutely correct. That these women can't speak. That these crimes finally caught up with him. Seven weapons. Seven firearms recovered.

Ruger 22 long rifle 328
Ruger 22 revolver
Bryce Arms 22
Highpoint 380
Phoenix Raven 25
Tital Fe 25
Smith and Wesson 38

DDA Silverman talks about a jacket and wallet in the jacket, and the address in the wallet. There was a small firearm, a Raven by Phoenix Arms, loaded with six rounds of live ammunition. They also found a second gun, the Highpoint, found in the northwest bedroom.

DDA Silverman's PowerPoint lays out similarities between the crimes in this case. Nine victims were shot bya 25 auto. Six victims were either strangled or had rags stuffed in their mouths. Cocaine in all except Princess. All in various stages of undress except Barbara Ware. DNA over and over again on all but two victims.  The bodies were concealed, all except two. All of the crime scenes were in close proximity to where the defendant was living. The DNA evidence with respect to each of the victims. A summary chart, which gives you all the DNA matches to each of the victims and the 2016 statistics. Evidence, tying the defendant to these crimes.

Another PowerPoint image shows the crossover between the firearms evidence and the DNA matches. [Several victims had ballistics and DNA evidence.] This is evidence of guilt. A pattern, is also called a modus operandi. DNA. Firearms evidence. Ray Davis. Surviving victim, Enietra Washington. Search warrant evidence. Janecia Peters murder weapon. Surveillance of the defendant. Defendant's prior employment as a trash truck driver. All evidence in this case proves the defendant is guilty. There's no other reasonable interpretation of the evidence in this case.

The defense, no matter how long he stands up here, will be able to explain how the DNA evidence got on each of the victims breasts, in the same area. He had one of the weapons, that killed Janeica Peters. Most of these victims had been dead for over 20 years. It's time. It's time that justice is served in this case. Justice demands that you find hi guilty of first degree murder in this case. Guilty of the attempted murder and guilty of the special circumstances charged in this case.

DDA Silverman concludes her first closing argument. Judge Kennedy tells the courtroom they will take a 20 minute break at this time.  The jury files out. The court addresses the defense. "Mr. Amster, this is the time to share the slides with the prosecution, and if there are any problems we can take that up. And the exhibit copies, need to be provided to the court." Amster replies that he's not going to use a PowerPoint.

Afternoon break.

The people have an issue with one of Amster's slides. DDA Silverman tells the court, "There is a particular slide, your honor, and I don't know what evidence it's based on." Amster counters, That's our argument on Enietra Washington who testified. We don't believe it is the defendant who picked her up."

The slide is put up on the ELMO for the court to see. I try to type out what I'm reading.

Mystery man, mystery gun and mystery DNA. He saw his uncle picking up girls, everyday, He coveted them, unable to get them, either because of pock marks or attitude, and brought harm to them, his uncle Lonnie's girls."

A newphew goes to defendant Lonnie's house.

Judge Kennedy asks, "Are you saying that, it was a nephew who picked up Enietra Washington that happened to be Lonnie Franklin's house? That's argument. I'll allow it."

At 3:07 pm, defense attorney Seymour Amster steps up to the podium....

Continued in Day One, Part III........