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Los Angeles serial killer found guilty of four more strangling murders

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A serial killer facing the death penalty for murdering 10 women in Los Angeles was found guilty by a jury on Thursday of four more counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of women he strangled between 1987 and 1997, prosecutors said.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before convicting Chester Turner, 47, a former pizza delivery man, of the four murder counts.

All 14 of the women Turner killed were found strangled in largely working class South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said in a statement. As one of his victims was pregnant, he also was found guilty of the murder of her unborn baby during his first murder trial in 2007.

The four victims in the case that was decided on Thursday were killed between 1987 and 1997, which is roughly the same time period as the other 10 slayings.

Turner was initially linked to the 10 murders through DNA evidence after a 2002 conviction for rape. He was charged in 2011 with the four additional murders, based on further DNA tests.

In two of those murders, another man was wrongfully convicted and spent 11 years behind bars before he was freed when DNA linked Turner to the killings in 2004, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

Prosecutors declined to comment on Turner's four murder convictions on Thursday because he still faces sentencing with the penalty phase due to start on Friday.

Turner is eligible to receive the death penalty in this latest case. He also was sentenced at his first murder trial in 2007 and has been on Death Row ever since.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bill Trott)

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