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‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killer sentenced to death in Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES — A judge has sentenced a serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” to death for 10 Los Angeles murders that spanned decades.

Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. attends his arraignment on July 8, 2010 in Los Angeles. (Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images)

Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. attends his arraignment on July 8, 2010 in Los Angeles. (Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images)

Lonnie Franklin Jr. was sentenced Wednesday for murdering a teenage girl and nine women in a poor section of the city between 1985 and 2007.

Franklin Jr.’s defense team tried unsuccessfully to get the death penalty verdict thrown out, including arguments that the death penalty in California was unconstitutional and that the prosecution had engaged in misconduct.

The crimes took police years to solve, as they didn’t initially realize the connection among the murders. Community members complained detectives didn’t give the killers enough attention because the victims were black and many were prostitutes who used crack cocaine.

Five members of the jury that decided he should die for his crime were in Los Angeles Superior Court for the hearing.

The killer earned his moniker for an apparent hiatus in his slayings, though authorities now think he never rested.