- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The trial of a man charged with 10 counts of murder in the “Grim Sleeper” serial killings was postponed until October after lawyers on both sides complained Monday of potential ambushes by their opponents.

Prosecutors sought the delay in Los Angeles Superior Court because the defense hadn’t turned over reports by several potential expert witnesses in the death penalty case of Lonnie Franklin Jr. and said they wouldn’t be ready for trial in less than a month.

“You can’t ambush the people,” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said in a hearing marked with acrimonious exchanges between lawyers.

The delay until Oct. 14 came six months after anguished family members of victims pleaded with Judge Kathleen Kennedy to set a court date in the killings dating back 30 years. Kennedy had set a June date but then postponed it until September.

Franklin, 62, has been behind bars five years awaiting trial in the deaths of 10 women shot and strangled between 1985 and 2007. The nickname was coined because of the 14-year gap between slayings in 1988 and 2002.



Defense lawyer Seymour Amster said he hadn’t turned over reports by experts in ballistics, photo enhancement and drug trafficking because he hasn’t decided if he’ll call them as witnesses, but he’s prepared to use them if ambushed by prosecutors.

“It’s time to make these decisions,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy ordered Amster to turn over the reports to prosecutors by Aug. 31 and said she wants to hear personally from a DNA expert if he can’t meet that deadline.

Amster has said the DNA expert has found evidence tying two of the killings to a serial killer on death row for 14 murders.

Noting the level of hostility between the two lawyers, Kennedy said there was “no love lost” between the two from a previous death penalty case.

“I would stipulate to that,” Amster said.

“And I would agree with the defense for the first time,” Silverman said.

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