FOX News reports that a judge has determined the death penalty is the correct punishment for a man convicted of killing 5 California women. In the Orange County Superior Court, Andrew Urdiales, 54, was issued a death sentence by a judge last Friday. Urdiales was convicted of murdering 5 women between 1986 and 1995, and the jury recommended the death sentence for him.
Urdiales has also been linked in the past to the deaths of three women in Illinois, where he is originally from. He is a former Marine and apologized to the victims’ families in court last week.
One woman is known to have escaped from Urdiales – Jennifer Asbenson – in 1992. He had taken her to a desert and she managed to get out.
Defense attorneys argued during his trial that brain scans showed he suffered from symptoms associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, all because his mother drank while she was pregnant with him. They also claimed Urdiales suffered brain damage and other trauma as a child that left him without the ability to manage his anger and emotions.
Urdiales moved to Southern California when he was 19 before killing his five victims. He stabbed Robbin Brandley, 23, 41 times in a parking lot in 1986. In 1988, he picked up Juie McGhee, a prostitute, and took her to a remote area before fatally shooting her in the head. Yet another 18-year-old victim was shot in the head and left in Palm Springs.
All the cases Urdiales was linked to were unsolved until he was arrested when he returned to his home in Illinois.
He was previously sentenced to death for the murder of three women in Illinois in 2002, but his sentenced was commuted to life without parole because Illinois barred the death penalty.
In 1996, Urdiales was stopped by police when a gun was found in his truck. Later, that gun was found to be a match for the murder weapon used in the three Illinois murders.
*Photo credit Mark Rightmire/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images