Jury recommends death sentence for Bay Area killer

  • File - This June 17, 2013 file photo shows accused serial killer Joseph Naso listening as the prosecution made their opening statements in Marin Superior Court in front of Judge Andrew Sweet in San Rafael, Calif. Jurors were expected to begin their first full day of deliberations Tuesday in the trial of an elderly photographer accused of killing four women in the 1970s and 1990s. The panel received the case and deliberated briefly Monday after Joseph Naso, 79, finished closing arguments in his own defense. (AP Photo/Marin Independent Journal, Robert Tong, file)

SAN RAFAEL — A jury on Tuesday recommended a death sentence for Joseph Naso, a 79-year-old former photographer convicted of the decades-old killings of four Northern California women.

The panel deliberated for about four hours before reaching its decision in the penalty phase of the case. Earlier in the day, the jury heard closing arguments from Naso, who represented himself and asked the jury to spare his life.

He will be formally sentenced at a later date by Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet.

Naso was previously convicted of four counts of murder in the deaths of prostitutes with matching initials — Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya. The victims were strangled and dumped in rural areas.

Prosecutors had argued for the death sentence, presenting grisly photos of the lifeless bodies. Prosecutor Dori Ahana let a timer tick down from two minutes to zero — the time it takes an asphyxiated person to die.

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