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Kirkland pleads guilty to two slayings

CINCINNATI, March 4 (UPI) -- Suspected serial killer Anthony Kirkland pleaded guilty Thursday in Hamilton County, Ohio, to charges he killed two women in 2006.

The Cincinnati Enquirer said Kirkland is facing as much as two life prison sentences after pleading guilty to charges he killed Mary Jo Newton on June 14, 2006, and Kimya Rolison on Dec. 22, 2006.

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While Kirkland entered guilty pleas in the deaths of the two women, he maintained his innocent plea regarding the killings of 13-year-old Esme Kenney and 14-year-old Casonya "Sharee" Crawford.

Kenney was killed in March 2009, while Crawford was killed in 2006.

Wednesday's proceedings in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court included two jurors in Kirkland's case being removed from their posts. One juror was removed for appearing intoxicated in court while the other was removed after arriving late to view crime scenes.

The Enquirer said Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Kubicki Jr. has attempted to keep control of audience members in Kirkland's trial, warning evidence photos of the slain women and teens could prove disturbing.

"Some parts of the trial you may not want to be in the room," Kubicki warned.

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