SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Convicted killer William Payton was sentenced Friday to death in San Quentin's gas chamber for the rape and murder of a young nurse during a wild stabbing spree at a boarding home during the 1981 Memorial Day weekend.
Superior Court Judge Donald McCartin also sentenced Payton, 28, to 21 years and eight months for attempted murder and rape, but delayed the term pending Payton's automatic appeal of his death sentence.
Payton was convicted Dec. 1 of the murder of Pamela Montgomery, 21, and the apparently unprovoked stabbings of Patricia Pensinger, manager of the boarding house, and her 10-year-old son May 26.
Mrs. Pensinger, who had allowed Payton to sleep on her porch the night of the attacks, was stabbed 40 times in the neck, torso and hand with an 8-inch butcher knife, but survived and identified Payton during a three-day trial.
Mrs. Pensinger's son was stabbed 23 times and told jurors Payton was the man who attacked him and his mother while they slept.
Payton was arrested a month after the stabbing spree when detectives trailed him to Tampa, Fla.
The Orange County jury that convicted Payton deliberated less than an hour before returning a recommendation he be executed.
McCartin ordered Payton be sent to San Quentin's death row within 10 days.