The first people I went up to was the loving and close knit Alexander family. I shook their hands and gave Donnell a hug. I have grown to know them over these past 6 years and have had a number of conversations with Donnell. Porter and his wife Mary Alexander lost their daughter of barely 18 years old, Alicia "Monique" Alexander. Donnell was her older brother and there were other family members there too. The whole family have been coming to Court for every Pre-Trial Arraignment and had to live through the details of their precious "Monique's" death and also have to sit in the same room as the monster who brutally murdered her on September 11th 1988. The Alexander family also had to suffer the antics and delays because of the unprofessionalism of Seymour Amster - Franklin's lead Defense Attorney. This day is their day today, a day they knew that Justice would be served.... finally.
The next person I went up to was the lady I had wanted to talk to since 2010 when I first started going to the Pre-Trial Arraignments, Ms Diana Ware. I have watched her over the years make every effort to attend every Court Appearances of her daughter's 'suspected' killer. On the rare occasion if Ms Ware didn't attend on a day, over the years, it was only because her health was bad. She is in her late 70's now and would diligently take the bus for every Pre-Trial Arraignments.
From 8.40am when the doors to Dept. 109 opened, DA Beth Silverman was hugging the family members and they were chatting and hugging her in return. Ms Silverman looked as elegant as always, wearing a black jacket over a black and white spotted dress.
By 9.15 only 5 of the Jurors had come through the door, but they didn't come in together as they weren't summoned. It was their choice if they wanted to be there for the final sentencing.
Lonnie Franklin was walked in soon after, handcuffed and in his orange jumpsuit.
At 9.21am Judge Kennedy took the bench. She began by stating that the Defense had made complaints about 'Prosecution misconduct'.
Everyone had been sitting and waiting for a while and then Seymour Amster spoke first and blabbed on and on complaining that the Prosecution shouldn't have brought in 4 new murder cases in the Penalty Phase of the Trial which Amster claimed to be 'Prosecution misconduct'. If a claim of misconduct should be stated by anyone it should be by the Judge regarding Amster. Throughout the Trial he did everything he could to delay and disrespect as many people as he could. In fact Seymour Amster's name should come up in the dictionary next to the word 'misconduct'.
The 'Penalty Phase' of a Trial is usually focused on the Defendant and whether he/she should live or die.
Ranging from one octave to another in just one sentence he implied that 'bringing up these new
He of course was going for another Mistrial, so when he'd finished the Judge turned to the Prosecution and said:
Judge: "Ms Silverman".
Silverman stated that she was one of the Prosecutors on the Chester Turner case and the first Jury convicted him of multiple murders and he was sentenced to death for them. Then finding there were a number of other murders, he was brought back from Death Row to be tried again in front of another Jury to give some sense of justice and closure for the families of those additional victims.
DA Silverman: "It seems that the argument that Defense Counsel is making today is that somehow he thinks that serial killers are a 'special class' and that they should be given special treatment and should be treated differently from any other Capital case".
After Ms Silverman finished speaking it went back to Amster who raised his voice so much that he was shouting, just like he has done since the Trial began and throughout the Pre-Trial hearings.
We had a short recess then returned and Judge Kennedy asked the Defense if the Defendant would like to speak. Amster responded that he did not wish to speak. Then Ms Silverman invited 17 members, of the families of the victims, to speak. One after another stood up to speak in such heartfelt and emotional words... it brought me to tears and I'm sure I was not the only one.
Jovana Peters stood up and with a shaky voice she spoke through her tears about how her sister Janecia was taken in such a tragic way. They were best friends growing up.
Then Barbara Ware's sister stood up and spoke. Barbara died on January 10th 1987 at the young age of 23. Her sister spoke of the love she had of her late sister and how they would run through the rain to their father's house before the clock struck 12 midnight on New Years Eve. It was the first time she had ever seen her father cry. He never knew that his daughter was murdered by a serial killer as he died before Franklin was arrested. Barbara was a mother, a daughter, a sister and a niece. She ended very strongly with "It's now your turn Lonnie David Franklin. You're out"!
Another family member of Henrietta's got up to speak but it was hard to hear as she spoke quietly.
The lady who grew up with Princess Berthomieux like an older sister, stood up next to speak of her love for Princess. More family members stood up to speak about Princess.
The Uncle of Alicia "Monique" Alexander stood up to give a heartfelt statement. He stayed with the Alexander family throughout college. He called Franklin a monster and said that Franklin's actions deeply changed who he was. He explained how he is a Christian and a spiritual person and is taught to forgive. However he cannot forgive Franklin for taking the life of such a sweet and innocent person as "Monique".
Then a lady by the name of Carmela (spelling) stood up to speak of her sister Alicia "Monique"Alexander. She had no family of her own so they were sisters but not by blood. Mary and Porter Alexander were her Godparents and therefore "Monique"
became her sister.
She recalled how they sang together and shared a life together. She spoke as best she could through her tears of how this tragedy has made her Godparents suddenly get old and their health deteriorate rapidly over the years. She thanked God, the Jury, the Judge, Beth, and Darren Dupree. She said to Franklin that he has a daughter, nieces and a granddaughter of his own and how would he have liked this to happen to them. She said she will never have closure she is just trying to have peace. (Picture of Monique is to the right).
She went on to say in a stern voice that because Franklin has no remorse there is no way that any of us could give him forgiveness. She explained how she is so hurt by what he did to her and she has no closure because every day she is fearful.
Another lady got up and said she was shot 6 times by Franklin, thankfully she lived. She explained her painful story to the Court.
Ms Diana Ware had been to nearly every Court appearance over these past 6 years when her health would allow it. She then rose to a standing position and walked slowly to the lectern to speak of her beloved step-daughter , Barbara, who was taken from this world on January 10th 1987, 2 days after her 23rd Birthday. "When Mr Franklin killed her, he extinguished the promise of the potential life of a 23 year old single mother who had begun to turn her life around. He brutally murdered her. A hole has been left in our family that has never been filled".
Barbara's father, Diana's late husband, passed away in 2002 never knowing that their daughter was a victim of a serial killer. She looked over at Franklin and asked him why he did what he did, "What was in your mind"? She asked him, with a stern look in her eyes, although he continued to face forward. She said she forgives Franklin because the Lord says she must. However she cannot forget.
She called Franklin 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'. He stole all of her tomorrows. There will be no wedding, no other children. There will be no family reunions, no cook outs, no birthday parties no more memories to be made. She thanked the Prosecution, the Judge and everyone in the Courtroom for their support. She even said she prays for Franklin's soul and reminded him that he too will have to answer to the Lord our Savior one day.
There were a number of other family members who stood up to speak and I will write all their names in my book. There were also family members who weren't present therefore wrote a letter, to be read by Beth Silverman, to the Court. Billy Ware, the sister of Barbara Ware wrote a letter as he resides in another State. He said he would never forgive the 'little arrogant man' who killed his sister so brutally and left her in an alley. He also wrote that he hopes Franklin doesn't die of old age as he wants to watch him die. Also the son of Henrietta Wright wrote a letter and Beth Silverman read both of their heartfelt words to the Court.
"You really need to be delivered". She then walked slowly back to her seat.
When each of the female family members went up to the lectern/podium to say their statements, Beth Silverman gently stroked their backs giving them strength to be able to speak and clearly showing how much compassion she has for all of them.
The Judge then told the Court that the last family member had spoken and then turned to Franklin and said "Now the time has come..." She went on to say that these women were all defenseless and not a threat to him in any way. How there is no justification for what he's done as it is not justifiable under the laws of God or the laws of man.
After saying the names of each and every victim Judge Kennedy then said these words, "It is the judgement and sentence of this Court, you shall suffer the Death Penalty".
She said that the total of restitution that Franklin owes is a total of $22,478.22 and he agreed to this amount. Restitution is for funeral and burial costs. She stated, as is always said at the sentencing of a Death Penalty case, the Defendant will be taken to San Quentin State Prison within 10 days of this date.
This concludes the final day of a very emotional 6 month Trial and decades of pain experienced by all family members. Therefore I am posting this blog in memory of all the innocent lives lost and to make sure that their spirit lives on and will never be forgotten.
There will be much more detail in my book which should be coming out nearer the end of this year.