updated 10/27/2004 12:58:56 AM ET 2004-10-27T04:58:56

A former pizza deliveryman now serving a prison term for rape was charged Thursday with murdering 10 women whose deaths were allegedly linked to him through DNA evidence.

Police call Chester D. Turner, 37, the city’s most prolific killer. They allege Turner accosted most of his victims in South Los Angeles, raped and strangled them, then dumped their bodies.

Turner is expected to be arraigned Thursday or Friday, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. She did not know whether Turner had hired an attorney.

The 10 women were killed between 1987 and 1998, authorities said. Their slayings remained unsolved until the Police Department’s cold case homicide unit began looking into them.

In 2002, Turner agreed to submit a DNA sample as part of a no-contest plea to the rape charge and it was placed in law enforcement databases. A detective allegedly found that it matched evidence found in two murders and began looking for more.

Turner is currently serving an eight-year sentence at a state prison near Stockton. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty in the murders, the district attorney’s office said.

Besides the 10 slayings, police believe Turner may be connected to two additional murders that another man, David A. Jones, was convicted of committing.

Jones, 44, spent nearly nine years in prison and was released in March. He has filed a damage claim against the city.

Gibbons said Turner may be charged later in those cases.

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