Defense Attorney Delivers Opening Statement in ‘Grim Sleeper’ Trial

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Lonnie Franklin Jr. appears in Los Angeles Superior Court for opening statements in his trial on Feb. 16, 2016. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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The trial of the man accused in the so-called Grim Sleeper serial killings shifted to the defense Monday, with an attorney repeatedly challenging DNA and ballistics evidence linking his client to the grisly deaths and suggesting other attackers may have been involved.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. faces 10 counts of murder in the slaying of nine women and a 15-year-old girl spanning more than 20 years. He also faces one count of attempted murder.

Franklin, 63, has pleaded not guilty.

In an opening statement, defense attorney Seymour Amster told jurors that DNA belonging to other people was found at some of the crime scenes, on victims’ clothing and on their bodies — apparently suggesting that men other than Franklin could be involved in the deaths.

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