Ex-Camp Pendleton Marine sentenced to death for SoCal murder spree

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A jury recommended the death penalty Wednesday for a former Camp Pendleton Marine who killed five women in Southern California and is already serving a life prison term in Illinois for three murders in Chicago.

Andrew Urdiales, 53, was convicted of the killings May 23. The same
jury deliberated for about a day before recommending a death sentence.

The women were murdered between 1986 and 1995 in areas including Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties.

It was in September 1988 when prosecutors said Urdiales shot and killed a 31-year-old prostitute named Mary Ann Wells. The killing took place in downtown San Diego, in a warehouse not far from the railroad tracks on Second Avenue near J Street.

He stabbed a 23-year-old Orange County college student to death in 1986.

The murder cases in California were cold until 1996 when Urdiales was pulled over by police in Illinois. Inside his truck officers found a gun he was not permitted to carry.

Defense attorneys have told jurors Urdiales had a difficult upbringing and was born with brain damage.

Urdiales was stationed at Twentynine Palms after training at Camp Pendleton.