SAN DIEGO -- 'Trailside Killer' David Carpenter, already facing the death penalty for two 1981 slayings, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of five others in 1980.
Carpenter, 57, showed no emotion as Superior Court Judge Herbert Hoffman read the verdict returned by a jury of seven women and five men who deliberated for seven hours before reaching their decision.
Jurors, some of them looking directly at Carpenter while the verdict was read, found the quiet, bespectacled man guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of rape and one count of attempted rape stemming from the Marin County slayings.
The jury, which will remain sequestered through the penalty phase of the 4-month-old trial, was barred by the judgefrom talking with reporters.
The latest convictions mean Carpenter has been found guilty of all seven slayings attributed to the 'Trailside Killer,' a serial murderer who preyed on Northern California hikers in 1980 and 1981.
Carpenter was convicted in 1984 of the two trailside killings that occurred in Santa Cruz County in 1981 and was sentenced to death. Jurors in the current trial were not told of the earlier convictions.
Hoffman scheduled the penalty phase of the current trial to begin May 17, when jurors will hear arguments for and against sentencing Carpenter to death. The jury will decide whether to recommend Hoffman impose the death penalty.
Public defender Frank Cox said Carpenter, who bailiffs led out of the courtroom through a back door, was 'very disappointed.'
'He's philosophical about it. He is optimistic that the penalty phase will be a good one, a strong one,' Cox said. 'But of course he's very disappointed. He sincerely hoped for a verdict of not guilty and that hope has been dashed.'
Marin County prosecutor John Posey, who had argued Carpenter was motivated to kill to fulfill a need for power, said the quick verdict 'certainly seemed to suggest that (the jury) didn't buy anything that the defense presented.'
'I think the evidence really was overwhelming when you sit and think about it,' Posey said.
None of the victims' family, some of whom had testified for the prosecution, were present for the verdict.
The trial, which began Jan. 5 and included nearly 16,000 pages of testimony, was moved to San Diego because of extensive publicity in Northern California, where news of the killings frightened many hikers away from popular trails for months.
The jury found Carpenter guilty of the Oct. 11, 1980, shooting deaths of Cynthia Moreland, 18, of Cotati, and Richard Stowers, 19, of Petaluma. The two were killed at Point Reyes National Seashore.
Jurors also found him guilty of the Oct. 13, 1980, death of Anne Alderson, 26, of San Leandro, at Mount Tamalpais State Park, and the Nov. 28, 1980, deaths of Shauna May, 23, of San Francisco, and Diane O'Connell, 22, of San Jose. May and O'Connell were shot to death at Point Reyes National Seashore.
The jury also found him guilty of raping Alderson and May and attempting to rape O'Connell.
In 1984, a Los Angeles jury sentenced Carpenter to die in the gas chamber for the March 1981 shooting death of Ellen Hansen, 20, of Davis, and the May 1981 slaying of Heather Skaggs, along with the attempted murder of Hansen's boyfriend, Steven Haertle.
Haertle's identification of Carpenter as the man who shot him and Hansen on a secluded Santa Cruz trail was a key element in the prosecution's case.
Posey sought to show that Haertle's eyewitness testimony corroborated ballistics tests linking a .38 revolver in Carpenter's possession to six of the 'Trailside' slayings.
The prosecutor said Carpenter killed to fulfill a need for power.
In his closing argument, Posey repeated one witness's contention that Carpenter told her, 'There's nothing like the power of a gun to get what you want.'
'That was the ultimate goal for him: to commit murder and rape and get away with it ... He had needs that had to be satisfied,' Posey said.
Cox and co-counsel Stephen Berlin had tried to convince jurors that the defendant was at work or caring for his ailing parents when a man resembling him carried out the random slayings.