Guerrero Could Face the Death Penalty

April 13, 2009 7:00:25 PM PDT
A Madera jury started deliberating a case that could send a suspected serial killer to death row. Guerrero's defense team is just trying to save him from the death penalty. They admitted he killed the woman. But the defense said the killings were not planned and happened in a fit of rage.

Prosecutor Edmund Gill said, "Evidence that points to this man ... "

The prosecutor pointed to Jose Guerrero ... saying the man hunted and stalked his victims like prey. Guerrero is accused of killing 42-year-old Julia Woodley ... 30-year-old Sharlene Fowler ... And 22-year-old Tamara Hernandez. The murders happened between 1995 and 1998 in Madera. During closing arguments ... The prosecutor said Hernandez died an especially gruesome death.

"Think about how she fought for her life. Obviously, Clawing, scraping ... Using her finger nails," said Gill.

Under her fingernails ... Investigators said they found Guerrero's DNA. They also said ... The man confessed to the murders.

Defense Attorney Eric Greene said, "Each one of these crimes deserves your independent decision and your independent review of the evidence."

Defense attorney Eric Greene admitted his client killed the women. But Greene said some of the victims were prostitutes ... Who had consensual sex with Guerrero.

"Is this a premeditated murder? There's no evidence of premeditation ... Because there's an explosion. It's a rage killing. Something happened to really set the defendant off," said Greene.

If the prosecution succeeds in proving the murders were premeditated ... Then Guerrero could face the death penalty. But the defense is hoping for a conviction of second degree murder to spare Guerrero from the death penalty.

The jury returns Tuesday morning to continue deliberating.

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