Death penalty recommended for man convicted of killing 4 OC women

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A jury on Wednesday has recommended the death penalty for a sex offender who was convicted of murdering four Orange County women in 2014.

Steven Dean Gordon was convicted last week of murdering 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 20-year-old Kianna Jackson, 34-year-old Josephine Vargas and 28-year-old Martha Anaya, who were working as prostitutes at the time.

The 47-year-old testified he played a role in the killings, but placed most of the blame on his friend, Franc Cano, who is being tried separately.

Of all the victims, only Estepp's body was found. That discovery led to multiple clues tying Gordon and Cano to the other killings.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin made his case on evidence from DNA, GPS-tracked movements of both defendants and their own statements to police.

Gordon showed no emotion as the court clerk read the jury's recommendation of the death sentence. For some families, however, the announcement provided some relief.

"It's never going to end for me," said Jodi Estepp, the sister of one of the victims. "It's never going to end, but today we got the death penalty and the girls are happy the sun came out."

Gordon is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 3.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Download the free ABC7 Los Angeles app for breaking news, weather and local stories on-the-go
Copyright © 2021 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.