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Lawyers call Ridgway a 'pleasant man,' say there may be more victims

Attorney Prothero (left) in court with client Ridgway (center).
Attorney Prothero (left) in court with client Ridgway (center).

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CNN's Gary Tuchman reports on Gary Leon Ridgway's 48 guilty pleas in the Green River killings.
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SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- Lawyers for confessed serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway -- who admitted in a plea deal Wednesday to killing 48 women -- said their client is a polite, pleasant man.

At the same time, they said police may not have found all of his victims.

"He's really a very pleasant man, one-on-one, at this day and age," said attorney Mark Prothero in an interview on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" television show Wednesday night. "He was always very polite, never displayed any anger. We got along very well, and he was a very nice client."

On Wednesday, Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder and agreed to provide information to help locate remains lost for nearly two decades in exchange for prosecutors agreeing not to seek the death penalty. (Full story)

Prothero said Ridgway has "frequently" expressed remorse for his crimes, but wouldn't give details about his comments. Ridgway showed no emotion in court Wednesday as he admitted, one by one, to killing the 48 women.

Ridgway will make a statement at his sentencing, which will be sometime next year, Prothero said. Until then, the attorney said, Ridgway has agreed to cooperate with and provide information to investigators for at least six months.

Prothero said more victims could be discovered.

"Well, indeed, he led the police to other sites where he had told them he left bodies and those are still open investigations in the situations where they were not able to find anything," the attorney said.

"They are not closing the book on those. That's what part of this process between plea and sentencing is going to be about it, trying to answer some of those questions," Prothero added.

Defense attorney Todd Gruenhagen said he believes prosecutors accepted a plea deal to bring closure to victims' families and to close the books on some old police cases.

Gruenhagen said Ridgway's former wife, Judith, was unaware of the crimes.

She was "a spouse that didn't know everything about her husband," he said. "I mean, he had a separate existence that he kept from everybody, so she was in the dark."

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