DNA Links Prisoner to 12 Slayings

A man in prison for rape has been linked by DNA evidence to the killings of a dozen women, including three that another man was convicted of committing, police said Saturday.

Police said they have linked Chester D. Turner (search), 37, to the murders of 12 women between 1987 and 1998 and they plan to give prosecutors evidence for many of the slayings next week. Turner is serving an eight-year sentence after pleading no contest to rape in 2002.

Police allege the former pizza deliveryman accosted most of his victims on a street in crime-plagued South Los Angeles (search) and raped and strangled them before dumping their bodies.

A mentally disabled janitor was wrongly convicted of three of the killings and spent nearly nine years in prison. David Allen Jones, 44, was released in March.

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons declined to comment on the cases.

In a somber coincidence, the mothers of two of the victims have been friends for 30 years, and have grieved together for their daughters' deaths.

"We never thought that it could be the same person," said Mildred White, whose daughter Annette Ernest, 26, was among the victims.

Ernest's body was found in 1987 in the same neighborhood where the body of Andrea Triplett, 29, would be found six years later.

"He'll never be able to do this to someone else's child," said Triplett's mother, Jerri Johnson. "No family will have to go through what we went through."

Triplett and Ernest each had two young children, and Triplett was pregnant with a third when she was killed.

As part of his plea in the rape case, Turner agreed to submit a DNA sample that was placed in law enforcement databases.

Turner has been in and out of prison several times, but most of his convictions were for nonviolent crimes such as theft, drug possession and parole violations, according to state Department of Corrections records.