Antonio Rodriguez is convicted of murder in the deaths of three women
The women were killed and sexually assaulted in 2010 in Philadelphia
Their assailant was nicknamed the "Kensington Strangler" for the neighborhood of the crimes
Rodriguez is sentenced three life terms; prosecutor says the city "is a little bit safer"
Accused serial strangler Antonio Rodriguez was convicted Thursday of three counts of murder and sentenced to three life terms, according to the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart found Rodriguez guilty of three counts of first-degree murder following the non-jury trial that started Monday.
Rodriguez also was convicted of three counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney,” Williams said in a statement. “I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are going through, but I hope this verdict will give you some sense of justice.”
“The city of Philadelphia is a little bit safer tonight now that Antonio Rodriguez will be spending the rest of his life behind bars,” Williams said.
Nicknamed the “Kensington Strangler,” for the neighborhood where the crimes occurred, the now 23-year-old Rodriguez was arrested after DNA testing linked him to the attacks.
In February 2011, Rodriguez appeared at a preliminary hearing where two police detectives read the sexually explicit confessions he gave regarding three women who were killed and sexually assaulted between November and December 2010.
Rodriguez was convicted of killing Casey Mahoney, 27; Elaine Goldberg, 21; and Nicole Piacentini, 35.
During the strangling spree, 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.