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Convicted Serial Killer Jose Guerrero Going to Death Row

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Madera serial killer is on his way to California's death row. But some victims are expressing mixed emotions about the judge's decision.

A woman who survived Guerrero's attack does not agree with the death penalty because of her religious beliefs. The judge called Guerrero's crimes vicious and brutal. The judge agreed with the jury that Guerrero should die for the crimes.

Jose Guerrero walked into a silent court room wearing a jump suit and shackles. The man calmly took his seat to await his punishment. Evelyn Estrada wore a shirt that read: "I'm a survivor." Estrada said Guerrero slashed her throat and face. She spoke at the sentencing and does not want the man to face the death penalty. Estrada said, "It was very hard for me and it still is ... I feel bad for his family."

Jurors convicted Guerrero in April of trying to kill Estrada and murdering three other women: 42-year-old Julia Woodley, 30-year-old Sharlene Fowler and 22-year-old Tamara Hernandez. The murders happened between 1995 and 1998. Judge W. De Groot called the crimes vicious and premeditated. The defendant showed no emotion when Judge De Groot sentenced him to death. The judge said, "Defendant Jose Guerrero shall be put to death within the walls of the California State Prison at San Quentin."

Guerrero's defense attorney Eric Green tried to spare the man's life. Green says Guerrero suffers from a mental illness that prevented the man from helping in this case, "That has bothered me throughout this case. The fact that he didn't cooperate with his defense team, formulating some defense against these horrendous charges." After the judge's decision, Guerrero left court just like he entered, silent and avoiding all eye contact.

The exact execution date has not been set. Guerrero's case will go through a series of automatic appeals which means the convicted killer could be on death row for several decades.

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