ORANGE COUNTY—On Friday, February 3, the Los Angeles Times announced on that Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue, sentenced registered sex offender Steven Dean Gordon, 47, to death for raping and killing four women in 2013 and 2014.
Beginning in November 2016, reports surfaced that Gordon was convicted of assaulting the victims who were working as prostitutes in Santa Ana and Anaheim.
Gordon, who was homeless at the time, and his co-defendant Franc Cano, 30, reportedly had GPS devices strapped to their ankles (reportedly for previous offenses), which they used to randomly locate each of the victims.
The two men camped out behind a paint and body shop in east Anaheim, where they brought each of the victims to rape and murder them. The victims included Las Vegas native Kianna Jackson, 20, Santa Ana natives Josephine Vargas, 34, and Martha Anaya, 27. Jackson and Vargas were killed in October 2013, and Anaya in November 2013. Their bodies were never found.
The naked body of Elk City, Oklahoma native Jarrae Estepp, 21, was found on a conveyer belt at an east Anaheim recycling plant in March 2014. Investigators stated that Estepp had likely been working on the streets of Anaheim. Following a GPS check, they discovered that Cano had been in the immediate area. Both he and Gordon were linked to her murder.
The LA Times reported that Gordon admitting to having killed the four women, and that he “repeatedly said he ought to be executed for his crimes.” In addition, “he fired his public defender and represented himself at trial in the hopes of speeding along the system.”
“My daughter was everything to me,” Herlinda Salcedo, Martha Anaya’s mother, asserted to the court judge. “Every day when they [Anaya’s children] ask me about their mother, I just tell them that their mother is another star in the sky.”
“I feel the death penalty is the right sentence. I will never see my daughter, and she will never see my family,” stated Katherine Menzies, mother of Kianna Jackson, who Gordon admitted to having murdered at Friday’s court hearing.
“He needs to address his apologies to God,” said Jodi Estepp-Pier, mother of Jarrae Estepp. “It’s a little late to apologize to us.”
Gordon reportedly began to cry after hearing the victims’ mothers speak.
“I am sorry for everything, but those are hollow words,” said Gordon. He continued, condemning Cano, “He’s a coward. That doesn’t make me any better.”
The judge declared that Gordon is to be placed on death row at San Quentin State Prison.