Jury recommends death in murders of 5 California women

A jury on Wednesday recommended the death penalty for an Illinois killer who was convicted of murdering five more women in Southern California more than two decades ago.

The Orange County Superior Court jurors made the recommendation after the penalty phase hearing for Andrew Urdiales, 54.

The former Marine was convicted in May of killing five women in California between 1986 and 1995. He is scheduled to be sentenced by a judge on Aug. 31.

Urdiales was previously sentenced to death for killing three women in Illinois in 2002 and 2004. That sentence was commuted to life without parole after Illinois barred the death penalty.

Authorities said Urdiales, who moved to Southern California as a 19-year-old Marine, killed four women while in the military and a fifth while vacationing in Palm Springs in 1995.

He attacked 23-year-old Robbin Brandley after a piano concert at an Orange County community college in 1986 and stabbed her to death in the parking lot. He picked up 29-year-old prostitute Julie McGhee two years later and drove her to a remote area where he had sex with her, shot her in the head and left her body in the desert, authorities said.

Urdiales attacked and killed six more women in California and in Illinois who were working as prostitutes, authorities said.

The California murders went unsolved for years until Urdiales was arrested after he returned home to Illinois.

Authorities stopped Urdiales in 1996 and found a weapon in his truck, prosecutors said. That weapon was matched the following year to the one used to kill the Illinois women.

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