Alleged Serial Killer Considers Doing Away with Lawyer, Representing Himself

Steven Dean Gordon is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering four women.
Steven Dean Gordon is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering four women.
Anaheim Police Department

Accused serial killer Steven Dean Gordon is due in court Friday to tell the judge whether he wants to go through with his announced intention of firing his lawyer and representing himself in his death-penalty trial.

The 47-year-old, who along with 29-year-old Franc Cano is accused of confessing to raping and murdering four prostitutes in Anaheim and Santa Ana, told Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick
Donahue last Friday that he wants to dump Denise Gragg of the Orange County Public Defender's Office and face Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin himself.

Donahue gave Gordon a week to think about it—no doubt with the warning about a defendant who represents himself having a fool for a client.

Gordon is also refusing to waive his right to a speedy trial. Delaying is a common move with death penalty trials and other serious cases because of the time needed to mount a defense.

Cano is to be tried separately for the murders of Kianna Jackson, 20, of Las Vegas, Josephine Vargas, 34, and Martha Anaya, 28, both of Santa Ana, and, the only victim whose body was found, 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp.

The remains of Estepp—who'd moved from Oklahoma City to California's Stanislaus County before recently arriving in Orange County—was found on March 14, 2013, in an Anaheim recycling
facility.


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