Evidence

Judge in 'Grim Sleeper' serial murder case OKs use of DNA cop got by posing as restaurant busboy


Rejecting defense arguments that a suspect in the slayings of 10 women and the attempted murder of an 11th had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the DNA he left on pizzeria plates and utensils, a California judge on Tuesday OK’d the evidence gathered by a police officer who posed as a restaurant busboy.

The ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy helps clear the way for the case against Lonnie Franklin Jr. to proceed toward trial this summer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Franklin, who is about 60 years old, is being held without bail following his arrest in 2010.

The suspect in the case was nicknamed the “Grim Sleeper” because of a seeming years-long hiatus in slayings that took place over a period of over 20 years, according to authorities.

Although his DNA was not initially in a database available to law enforcement, investigators focused on Franklin as a suspect after asking the state to try to match DNA recovered at the crime scenes to individuals in the database who might be a relative of the suspect.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Son’s DNA & Discarded Pizza Slice ID Suspect in 10 ‘Grim Sleeper’ Murders Over 25 Years”

ABAJournal.com: “ID’d in Cold Case DNA Project, Man, 74, Pleads Guilty in 7 Murders, Suspected in Up to 23 More”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: “New DNA tool nets first conviction in rape case”

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