Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue today sentenced serial killer Steven Dean Gordon to die.
Gordon had represented himself at trial before a jury found the 47-year-old Anaheim man guilty of raping and murdering four women: Kianna Jackson, 20; Josephine Vargas, 34; Martha Anaya, 28; and Jarrae Estepp, 21. In separate court proceedings that ended in December, jurors recommended Gordon receive the death penalty.
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Along with co-defendant and fellow registered sex offender Franc Cano, who has a pre-trial hearing scheduled May 12 in his death-penalty case, Gordon went into court accused of kidnapping each woman, bringing them to an Anaheim paint and body shop that both men camped in and then killing them. All the victims were prostitutes, and only the body of the last woman, Estepp, has been found.
Homicide detectives were able to link the men to the women through their court-mandated GPS anklets.
From OCDA today:
At Gordon's sentencing several victim impact statements were given by family members of the victims, including each of their mothers, pursuant to Marsy's Law. Martha Anaya's mother Herlinda Salcedo spoke about her grandchildren who are now without a mother, and read a statement from Martha's 12-year-old sister, which stated in part, "She also told me not to talk to strangers, now I realize why."
Kathy Menzies, Kianna Jackson's mother, spoke alongside her own mother, Dianne Menzies. They told the court how heartbreaking it is that Kianna will not get to see her younger brother graduate from high school or see the young man he has become.
Jarrae Estepp's cousin and mother asked the court to deliver the death penalty to Gordon. Jodi Estepp-Pier explained how difficult it was to watch the man who killed her daughter throughout the trial, stating in part, "I'm so glad that you cannot do this to another woman ever again."