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Serial rapist condemned to death for murder of teenage girl

Latece brown

A South Los Angeles serial rapist was sentenced to death Thursday for sexually assaulting and suffocating a 16-year-old girl, whose body was wrapped in a comforter, set ablaze and then dumped in an alley.

Latece Megale Brown smiled and laughed as he spoke to his lawyers in a downtown courtroom during a hearing in which Superior Court Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr. described the killing as a “cold, vicious murder.”

Bowers noted that the 6-foot-4-inch Brown, who weighed about 450 pounds when he was arrested, intentionally sat on the teenage victim, Jacquiese Williams, until she was dead. The judge also recited a lengthy list of other crimes attributed to Brown over nearly a quarter-century, including an assault on a police officer, the rape of a cellmate and a robbery he committed as a teenager when he stabbed his victim and cut off part of his ear lobe.

"I hope he is tortured as he tortured my granddaughter,” Williams’ grandmother, Clara Owens, told the judge immediately before sentencing. “God, please forgive me, but that’s how I feel.”

Brown, 41, was convicted earlier this year of murdering Williams and raping four other victims who ranged in age from 14 to 25. He was also found guilty of kidnapping another woman with the intent to rape her, but she managed to escape.

Williams, who lived in Las Vegas and loved hip-hop dancing and singing, was in Los Angeles visiting her father when she was killed. Her body was found on Oct. 24, 2003, in an alley near the intersection of the 110 and 105 freeways. She had been tied up and gagged and her head was covered with a plastic bag.

Jurors deadlocked on a charge that Brown also murdered one of the other sexual assault victims. The district attorney’s office has yet to decide whether to retry Brown on that charge.

Among those who attended Thursday’s sentencing hearing were several jurors from the case, as well as two of Brown’s victims who survived his attacks. One of the victims told reporters outside the courtroom that she had hoped to hear Brown express remorse but was struck instead by his smirking and laughing during the hearing.

The Times does not ordinarily name victims or alleged victims in sexual assault cases, but the victim asked that the newspaper publish her first name, Andrea.

“Seeing him with no remorse makes me feel like the sentence was justified and appropriate,” she said.


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-- Jack Leonard

Photo: Latece Megale Brown, sitting in court with attorney Franklin Peters Jr., smiles during his sentencing hearing Thursday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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