SANTA ANA (CNS) - Verdicts will be read today in the trial of a convicted triple killer from Chicago charged with murdering five women in the Southland
Andrew Urdiales, 53, will face the death penalty if he is convicted of five counts of first-degree murder with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
He was sentenced to death in Illinois for the murders of three prostitutes there, but he was re-sentenced to life in prison after capital punishment was outlawed in Illinois.
If jurors find him guilty of first-degree murder for the Southern California killings, the trial will move to a penalty phase.
Urdiales' attorneys claimed that childhood trauma and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder left him incapable of controlling his anger, meaning that Urdiales did not plan the murders before committing them. Instead, they argued for implied malice, which would lead to a second-degree murder conviction, which would make him ineligible for the death penalty.
Jurors began deliberating about 4 p.m. Thursday, but then got off to a late start Monday when a panelist had to be replaced. The jury began again at 11 a.m. Monday and reached verdicts about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon.
The former U.S. Marine is accused of killing:
--23-year-old Robbin Brandley as she walked to her car following a concert on Jan. 18, 1986, at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo;
--29-year-old Julie McGhee on July 17, 1988, in Cathedral City;
--31-year-old Maryann Wells on Sept. 25, 1988, in San Diego;
--20-year-old Tammie Erwin on April 16, 1989, in Palm Springs; and
--32-year-old Denise Maney on March 11, 1995, in Palm Springs.
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