Los Angeles News

'Grim Sleeper' victim families frustrated at delay of trial

Monday, March 25, 2013

The so-called "Grim Sleeper" serial murder suspect's trial was expected to take place this year. But it is far off schedule with no trial date in sight. Frustrated family members of the victims spoke out exclusively to Eyewitness News.

In a case still awaiting trial, the prosecution alleges that Lonnie Franklin Jr. spent nearly half his life picking up women, allegedly taking their pictures and then murdering at least 10 of them.

When LAPD officers arrested Franklin in 2010, family members of the victims thought the worst was over. Today they say it's not.

"This has been almost three years and nothing has moved forward. When is it going to stop?" said Diana Ware, mother of one victim.

Ware and more than a half-dozen others came to Monday's pre-trial hearing as they have for all court proceedings in the case. They had expected Franklin's trial to be under way by now. Instead it has been one defense delay after another. In every hearing the prosecutors and the judge have prodded defense attorney Seymour Amster to move forward.

Monday the prosecutors brought evidence Amster had requested, but then Amster said he wanted to wait before taking it.

"I just feel it is a proper procedure just to have a paralegal there," said Amster.

LAPD officials and the district attorney say that the delays cost taxpayers money and victims' families pain.

Porter Alexander lost his 18-year-old daughter Alicia.

"Every time I wake up, every time I make a move, I look, I am missing something," said Alexander. "I lost my daughter, and this just dragging this thing out -- how long are they going to continue to do this?"

"There are so many impacted that can't be here, but it's frustrating, it's just really frustrating," said Samara Herard, sister of one of the victims.

"We're trying to do a thorough job. Why: Aren't the taxpayers entitled to something being done one time, and done right?" said Amster.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says the court has the power to replace Amster, but that could make matters worse. Appointing a new public defender would mean starting the pre-trial process all over again.

"The delay is very frustrating," said Diana Ware. "We are all getting older and I am wondering if I am going to live to see the end of this at the rate it's going on."

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
homicide investigation, murder, sex crimes, south los angeles, court case, los angeles news, miriam hernandez
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