Life in Prison for Accused Serial Murderer

October 1, 2008 7:41:05 PM PDT
A three decade murder case came to a close on Wednesday with a twice convicted murder sentenced to life in prison again. Ramona Sorriano finally confronted 73-year-old Ray Dell Sims in court on Wednesday, "I just want everybody to know, she was a good girl. She was my first baby." A jury convicted Sims last month of murdering Sorriano's daughter Elizabeth Ortega. Her body was discovered in 1974 near Avocado Lake in Fresno County. Sorriano said, "It was like something came out from the depth of hell to destroy the goodness here."

Sims is an accused serial murderer. In the 70s, jurors found him guilty of abducting and killing Janet Herstein on her paper delivery route. Janet's mother Edna Herstein talked with Action News in 1987, "He took a life deliberately, so I don't think he should be free." Twenty years later, Edna returned to see Sims sentenced to life in prison for the second time. Edna said, "Janet is still my daughter, and she always will be, so the next parole hearing I will be there."

Sims' defense attorney always blamed the Ortega murder on someone else. But the victim's family believed jurors got it right by convicting the 73-year-old man. Rosie Beltran is the victim's aunt and said, "He's going to die alone in that prison. And guess what I will rejoice because he is going straight to hell for eternity."

Ray Dell Sims is now serving two life sentences which mean he is likely to die in prison.

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