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Prosecutors to seek death penalty against alleged serial killer

By the CNN Wire Sttaf
Antonio Rodriguez is accused of killing and sexually assaulting three women.
Antonio Rodriguez is accused of killing and sexually assaulting three women.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Antonio Rodriguez has been charged in the murders of three women
  • He was arrested after DNA testing linked him to the attacks

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Philadelphia prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against suspected serial strangler Antonio Rodriguez, according to District Attorney spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson.

Rodriguez appeared at a preliminary hearing Wednesday where two police detectives read confessions Rodriguez gave regarding three women he allegedly killed and sexually assaulted between November and December of last year, according to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bretschneider.

Nicknamed the Kensington strangler, the 21-year-old Rodriguez was arrested after DNA testing linked him to the attacks in the city's Kensington district, according to Detective Justin Frank.

"We're hopeful that this will put an end to this," Frank said.

Rodriguez is suspected of killing Casey Mahoney, 27; Elaine Goldberg, 21; and Nicole Piacentini, 35. Police Capt. James J. Clark said Rodriguez is a homeless man.

In December, a 33-year-old woman was pulled into an alley and may have been the victim of the same attacker, police said.

Despite being choked, punched and hit on the head with a brick, she escaped her assailant, who fled from the scene, according to the police report.

CNN's Upinder Pathania and Sarah Hoye contributed to this report

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