As Los Angeles prosecutors seek the death penalty against convicted “Grim Sleeper”
serial killer Lonnie Franklin
, the mother of one of his victims told a jury Thursday she has never escaped the pain of her daughter’s brutal murder more than two decades ago.
“The hurt is still there, the pain is still there,” Mary Alexander testified in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Her daughter, Monique Alexander, was just 18 when she was found shot and strangled to death under a mattress in a South Los Angeles alley in 1988.
On May 5, a Los Angeles
jury found Franklin, 63, guilty
of the murders of ten women including Alexander – and the attempted murder of another in South Los Angeles during a 23-year killing spree.
a married father of two and former LAPD mechanic and sanitation worker for the city of Los Angeles, earned the chilling moniker, the “Grim Sleeper,” when he was previously and erroneously believed to have stopped the killings for 14 years.
Most of Franklin’s victims were young women he fatally shot or strangled and dumped in alleyways or garbage bins in South Los Angeles. He was charged in 2010 with the murders.
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During his three-month trial,
who managed to get away from Franklin, testified that he shot her, sexually assaulted her, and took a Polaroid picture of her before pushing her out of his car 27 years ago. She said she told him, ‘If I die, I am going to haunt you.'”
On Thursday, the penalty phase of the trial began, as prosecutors presented their case for the death penalty. Jurors listened as families of Franklin’s victims talked about the devastation his killing spree had on their lives.
Monique Alexander’s father, Porter Alexander Jr., 75, told jurors about the “devastating blow” he received when he learned his daughter had been murdered, the
His wife has never fully recovered from the loss of their “baby,” he said. He said he still holds onto some of his daughter’s belongings, saying, “She’s not gone in my heart.”
Immediately after the verdicts were read, Mary Alexander said, “God is good.”
Irene Ephriam, the niece of Franklin victim Henrietta Wright, told PEOPLE, “It is closure. It has almost been 30 years. It hurt our family to lose her. It destroyed our family. None of us can get our families back. I was one of them who had to identify her body.”
Reporting by CHRISTINE PELISEK