Baseline Killer sentenced to death
A man convicted of being the so-called Baseline Killer has been sentenced to death by a jury in the United States.
Mark Goudeau was given the maximum penalty for killing nine people during a murder spree which terrorised the Phoenix area.
Jurors reached the verdict about a month after they found 47-year-old Mark Goudeau guilty of the nine murders and 58 other charges, including kidnapping and rape. They sentenced him to death on each of the nine murder counts.
Goudeau was accused of attacking his victims as they went about daily activities, such as leaving work or washing their car. Police named the series of killings and other crimes after Baseline Road in south Phoenix where many of the earliest attacks happened. Goudeau lived only a few miles from many of the attack sites.
"It's a relief that it's over," said Maria Nunez, the mother of murder victim Sofia Nunez. However, she said didn't know if the sentence could bring her any real comfort, adding: "It's not going to bring Sofia back."
Goudeau did not want to be in the courtroom when verdicts were read, but Judge Warren Granville forced him to stay. He sat quietly as the verdicts were read out. His lawyer, Randall Craig, declined to comment after the sentencing but intends to lodge an appeal.
Goudeau had been serving a 438-year sentence in a 2005 sexual assault case tied to the Baseline Killer attacks, but became eligible for the death penalty after his murder convictions.
Prosecutors had argued that Goudeau was a "ravenous wolf" driven by a hunger to rape women and kill those who did not submit to his demands, and that the murders were especially cruel because the victims suffered unimaginable terror and anguish in the moments leading up to their deaths.
"He enjoyed the power and dominion he exercised over these victims," prosecutor Patricia Stevens told jurors. "He enjoyed the threats of force, the threats of death."
Stevens said that each of the eight female victims was forced to agonise over whether they would be raped or killed in the moments before they were shot, and that two of them were forced to watch Goudeau kill another person before he turned the gun on them, prolonging and intensifying their own terror.