Sex Offender Found Guilty of Killing 4 Women While Being Tracked With GPS Anklet
Steven Dean Gordon was found guilty of four counts of murder for the attacks in 2013 and 2014.
A California sex offender has been found guilty of murdering four women while he was wearing a GPS tracker.
A jury found Steven Dean Gordon guilty of four counts of murder on Thursday after deliberating just an hour. He now faces a possible death sentence.
Gordon, 47, and fellow convicted sex offender Franc Cano, are alleged to have killed four women ages 21 to 34.
Gordon and Cano were registered sex offenders after being convicted in separate cases of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. Cano has pleaded not guilty to the murders.
Gordon reportedly confessed to authorities in an interview played for jurors about his role in the killings, which took place in 2013 and 2014.
Prosecutors said Gordon wore a GPS device during at least three of the murders.
Gordon represented himself at trial.
According to the Orange County DA, Gordon kidnapped 20-year-old Kianna Jackson on October 6, 2013 from Santa Ana and took her to a paint and body shop in Anaheim, where he murdered her.
On Oct. 24, 2013, Gordon kidnapped 34-year-old Josephine Vargas from Santa Ana and took her to the same paint and body shop in Anaheim, where she was killed.
The next month, Gordon abducted Martha Anaya, 28, from Santa Ana and killed her at the paint and body shop.
On March 13, 2014, Gordon kidnapped another woman. This time it was 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp from west Anaheim. She was also murdered at the paint and body shop in Anaheim.
The following day, the Anaheim Police Department received a call about a body found on the conveyer belt at a recycling plant. During the investigation, detectives identified the body as that of Estepp and say they were able to link Cano to the victim by running a sex offender GPS check.
Gordon was later identified as a co-defendant in all four murders. The bodies of the other three victims were never recovered.
A penalty phase will begin Monday, where jurors will decide whether to recommend a death sentence or life in prison without parole.
California law permits the district attorney to seek the death penalty if the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are any facts above and beyond the circumstances of the crime that increases the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct, the enormity of the offense, or the harmful impact of the crime.
Mitigating factors are any facts that reduce the defendant’s blameworthiness or otherwise support a less severe punishment. The final decision to pursue the death penalty rests on the district attorney.
Cano is being tried separately. His next court appearance is December 29.
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