SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California sex offender was sentenced to death on Friday for kidnapping and murdering four women during a six-month span in Orange County.
Steven Dean Gordon, who was convicted last year of killing the women in 2012 and 2013, was sentenced in Superior Court in Santa Ana, the Orange County Register reported (http://bit.ly/2jHAJgB ).
Some of the killings took place while the now-48-year-old was being tracked via a GPS monitoring device.
California has hundreds of inmates on the nation's largest death row, but the state hasn't executed anyone since 2006. Voters last year approved a proposition aimed at expediting appeals so killers are put to death, but a lawsuit challenging the measure has placed its implementation on hold.
Authorities say Gordon and another sex offender, Franc Cano, abducted four women with ties to prostitution and had sex with their victims before killing them.
After one of the women's bodies was found at a recycling center in Anaheim, investigators said they began looking into the pair, who were both registered sex offenders and homeless.
Authorities later tied the death of 21-year-old Jarrae Estepp to the earlier disappearance of three other women, whose bodies were never found.
Kathy Menzies, mother of victim Kianna Jackson, said she still has sleepless nights. "There will always be a part of the family missing," Menzies said.
Gordon represented himself at trial and alleged that Cano, who is being tried separately, strangled the women. Gordon acknowledged helping dispose of their bodies.
"I'm sorry for everything, but those are hollow words compared to what those women went through," Gordon told the court.
During the penalty phase of his trial, Gordon told jurors they were right to convict him, the newspaper reported. "If you kill four people like this in cold blood, you deserve to die" he said.
Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com