Suspect in Grim Sleeper Case Appears in Court

The man accused in a series of South LA slayings has a new attorney

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010  |  Updated 12:40 PM PDT
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Alleged Grim Sleeper Appears in Court

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Alleged Grim Sleeper Appears in Court

The alleged grim sleeper appeared in court Monday where he announced that he has a new attorney.
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Accused serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr., also known as the suspect in the Grim Sleeper murders, has a new attorney.

On Monday, the South LA mechanic appeared in court dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, shackled at the waist. Franklin stared straight ahead, as he did in a previous court appearance, saying little more than "Yes ma'am" to Judge Hillary Merrit.

"Yes, I understand," said Franklin, who waived his right to be arraigned at a later date.

The man accused of being the Grim Sleeper, then revealed that private attorney Loiuisa Pensanti, an attorney who has never litigated a death penalty case, will be representing him "pro-bono," or for free.

Later, outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, Pensanti asked reporters to refrain from making judgements about her client.

"Respect the legal process and refrain from making judgments prior to all of the evidence being reviewed," said Pensanti.

Franklin faces murder charges in the deaths of 10 women. Prosecutors allege he is the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South LA for two decades.

Detectives are actively searching for links to dozens of other unsolved cases.

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