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Calif. serial killer sentenced to death

Calif. serial killer sentenced to death

STOCKTON, Calif. — A jury has sentenced a Stockton man to death for the gruesome rape and murder of three women in the late 1990s.

Fifty-four-year-old William Jennings Choyce was sentenced Thursday, joining the more than 670 condemned inmates on California’s death row.

Choyce shot three prostitutes and dumped them in 1997 and 1998, leaving their bodies in sexual poses. Two of the women — Lawanda Beck and Gwendolyn Lee — were from Stockton and the third — Victoria Bell — was from Oakland. During the trial, three other women also testified to being raped at gunpoint by Choyce.

Choyce was serving time in state prison for rape when DNA evidence connected him to the murders.

Defense attorneys had tried to get Choyce life in prison, arguing that he psychologically damaged by an abusive mother.

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