LOS ANGELES (AP) — Samuel Little has a rap sheet across half the continental U.S., but has very little time in prison to show for it.
That is likely to change Thursday. Little, 74, faces life in prison without parole for murdering three women in the late 1980s during the crack cocaine scourge when several serial killers prowled the streets of South Los Angeles and preyed on drug users and prostitutes.
Little lured his victims with dope and then beat them and strangled them for his sexual pleasure, prosecutors said. He dumped their half-naked bodies in garbage. “He has never shown any empathy or remorse, but instead has continued to perpetuate his cycle of violence and terror,” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman wrote in her court papers calling for three consecutive life terms.
Over 56 years, Little served less than 10 years in prison for crimes ranging from shop lifting to drug use to assault to armed robbery to rape, authorities said. The murder convictions three weeks ago were firsts for Little, though he was arrested in two out-of-state killings in 1982.
He was acquitted of murder in a Forest Grove, Florida case. A grand jury didn’t indict him in a Pascagoula, Mississippi killing. Both those killings had similarities with the LA cases. “I just be in the wrong place at the wrong time with people,” he told Los Angeles police after DNA linked him to the killings and they arrested him two years ago in a Kentucky shelter.
Several women testified at trial about surviving attacks in which Little beat and choked them. Little’s lawyer argued during trial that his previous record had nothing to do with the LA killings. Jurors deliberating about two hours before finding him guilty of the murders of Carol Alford, 41, in 1987; and Audrey Nelson, 35, and Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, in 1989.
After his arrest in those killings, authorities began re-examining old cases in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio. A call to his public defender Wednesday was not returned.