SANTA ANA — Andrew Urdiales, a former Marine stationed in Twentynine Palms, was found guilty Wednesday of killing five women while he was serving in the Marine Corps in California, three of them while stationed in Twentynine Palms.
A second phase of the trial will begin Tuesday to determine if Urdiales is sentenced to life in prison or death.
Urdiales was arrested in Illinois and convicted of murdering three women in the Chicago area in 1997, a year after he killed his last victim in California, according to the prosecution.
He was sentenced to life in prison in Illinois.
At the time of his arrest he informed deputies that he was also involved in murders in California, and he was extradited to California in 2011 to stand trial in Orange County.
Urdiales’ victims include Robbin Brandley, killed in Mission Viejo in 1986, Julie McGhee in Cathedral City in 1988, Mary Ann Well in San Diego in 1988, Tammy Erwin in Palm Springs in 1989 and Denise Maney in Palm Springs in 1995.
Urdiales was stationed at Camp Pendleton when he stabbed Brandley to death. The slayings of McGhee, Wells and Erwin all took place when Urdiales was stationed at Twentynine Palms. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1991, but returned to California in 1995, when he shot Maney to death.
Chicago prosecutor Jim McKay said after he was discharged from the Marine Corps, Urdiales used a storage facility in Twentynine Palms where he kept hockey masks, a shovel, a machete and guns that he used when he returned to California.
Urdiales also kidnapped, raped and attempted to murder Jennifer Asbenson of Palm Springs in 1992, according to the prosecution.
Follow the case at http://www.hidesertstar.com.