updated 7/10/2007 2:17:01 PM ET 2007-07-10T18:17:01

A one-time pizza delivery man was sentenced Tuesday to die for the slayings of 10 women and an unborn fetus over an 11-year period in areas plagued by a crack cocaine epidemic.

A jury in May recommended the death penalty for Chester Turner instead of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders, said there was overwhelming evidence against Turner and agreed with a jury's recommendation that he be put to death.

"I don't think any jury would arrive at a different conclusion and would, in any court, demand a death penalty," Pounders said.

Turner, 40, declined to say anything after several of the victims' relatives spoke.

The case will automatically be appealed.

Preyed on prostitutes
Turner was convicted April 30 of 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the death of a 6 1/2-month old fetus. The mother, Regina Washington, 27, was strangled with an electrical cord behind a vacant house in September 1989.

Prosecutors said Turner was believed to be the most prolific serial killer in city history. He preyed upon prostitutes and other impoverished women with drug problems who lived primarily in South Los Angeles.

One woman was found slumped over a portable toilet, another in front of a crack house.

Turner was already serving an eight-year prison sentence for the 2002 rape of a woman on Skid Row when his DNA linked him to the serial killings that occurred between 1987 and 1998.

Suspected in 4 other deaths
Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegations that Turner committed multiple murders and that one of the victims — 38-year-old Paula Vance, killed in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 3, 1998 — was murdered during the commission of a rape.

Turner also is suspected — but has not been charged — with four other murders. David Allen Jones, a mentally disabled janitor, was convicted of three of them but was freed after DNA evidence cleared him, Grace said.

Jones, 44, was released in 2004 after 11 years in prison and was awarded $720,000 in compensation.

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