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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Former Pizza Man Turned Serial Killer Sentenced to Death

From sfgate.com: A one-time pizza deliveryman was sentenced Tuesday to die for the slayings of 10 women and an unborn fetus over an 11-year period in areas plagued by a crack cocaine epidemic.

A jury in May recommended the death penalty for Chester Turner instead of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders, said there was overwhelming evidence against Turner and agreed with a jury's recommendation that he be put to death.

"I don't think any jury would arrive at a different conclusion and would, in any court, demand a death penalty," said Pounders, who called the killings "a level of cruelty rarely seen in murder trials. The cruelty unmitigated by years of watching the light of life disappear in the eyes of each woman."

Turner, 40, showed little emotion when he was sentenced and declined to say anything after several of the victims' relatives spoke. Outside of court, Turner's attorney John Tyre said nothing was accomplished by sending his client to death row.

"California spends a lot of money to put someone to death," Tyre said. "That money would be better served educating people (about crime) so things like this could be prevented."

The case will automatically be appealed.

Turner was convicted April 30 of 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the death of a 6 1/2-month old fetus. The mother, Regina Washington, 27, was strangled with an electrical cord behind a vacant house in September 1989. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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