'Grim Sleeper' serial killer sentenced to death in Los Angeles

Lonnie Franklin Jr's 10 female victims were found dumped in alleys and rubbish bins

Lonnie Franklin Jr, los angeles, grim sleeper

Lonnie Franklin Jr at a court hearing in Los Angeles | Photo: PA Images

A former rubbish collector convicted of Los Angeles' so-called "Grim Sleeper" killings has been sentenced to death by a jury.

Lonnie Franklin Jr, 63, was found guilty last month of killing 10 women over two decades.

He will face a formal sentencing hearing at a later date.

Franklin was accused of fatally shooting or strangling nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007.

All of the victims were found dumped in alleys and rubbish bins in South Los Angeles.

An 11th victim survived after being shot, raped, pushed out of a car and left for dead in 1988.

The killings came in two spurts that were 14 years apart, earning the killer the nickname the Grim Sleeper.

However, US police said that since his indictment in March 2011, Franklin has been linked to six more deaths.

Franklin was arrested and charged in July 2010 after DNA collected from pizza crusts and napkins at a birthday party linked him to more than a dozen crime scenes.

Prosecutors said he went after vulnerable young black women during LA's crack cocaine epidemic.

Some of the victims were prostitutes and most had traces of cocaine in their systems, authorities said.

Franklin's defence claimed a "mystery man" committed the killings, but the prosecution dismissed the theory as a fabrication.

Executions in California are on hold due to legal challenges to lethal injections.