Trial for accused Cleveland killer begins

June 28, 2011 at 7:37 AM

CLEVELAND, June 28 (UPI) -- The case against a Cleveland man accused of killing 11 women is marked by sloppy police work and underwhelming forensic evidence, defense attorneys said.

During opening statements Monday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, defense attorney John Parker said prosecutors lacked DNA evidence, fingerprints or witnesses linking his client, Anthony Sowell, to the crimes, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Assistant County Prosecutor Rick Bombik countered Parker's statement by painting a portrait of Sowell as a sadistic killer who stalked and killed vulnerable, drug-addicted women and lived among their rotting corpses.

Sowell, 51, is charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, abusing a corpse and tampering with evidence in the deaths of the 11 women, whose remains were found in Sowells' home and yard. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

The trial is expected to take months, with as many as 132 witnesses expected to testify, The Plain Dealer said.

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