PHOENIX - A former construction worker suspected of being a serial predator known as the "Baseline Killer" was convicted Friday in a pair of 2005 sexual attacks.
Mark Goudeau, 43, is the first of three suspected serial killers to go on trial in a rash of random killings, rapes and robberies that terrorized the Phoenix area in 2005 and 2006.
Goudeau was tried on 19 charges stemming from an attack on two sisters near a south Phoenix park and was convicted on all counts. He still faces trial on 74 other criminal charges, including nine murder counts, from a crime spree police have attributed to the Baseline Killer, named for the south Phoenix street where many of the early attacks took place.
Defense lawyer Corwin Townsend said he planned to appeal. "I don't believe they (the jury) deliberated at all, not at all," Townsend said.
Goudeau stared straight ahead as verdicts were read for counts including sexual assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of crack cocaine. He gave his lawyers a conciliatory slap on the shoulder as he left the courtroom and said "I love you" to his sobbing wife, Wendy Carr.
Carr refused to comment to reporters as she left the courtroom.
The victims wiped tears from their eyes.
During the two-month trial, the sisters testified that Goudeau rushed toward them with a pistol in hand as they left the park on Sept. 20, 2005. They said he forced them into some bushes, told them to strip, then had sex with the younger sister while pointing the gun at the other sister's pregnant belly.
"I wanted to get up, but I thought if I got up he would hurt my sister," the younger of the two sisters testified through a Spanish interpreter.
The assault helped lead to Goudeau's arrest last summer. It took a year to track him down, prosecutors said, because he took extra steps to conceal his identity.
Goudeau warned the sisters not to look at his face during the assault, prosecutors said. They said he also used a condom and rubbed dirt on one of the sisters to get rid of his saliva.
The sisters didn't identify Goudeau in photo lineups after the attack. One singled out another man as her assailant - a fact that defense lawyers repeatedly cited in court as evidence that police have the wrong man. But prosecutors said male DNA that a state forensics specialist found on swabs of one sister shortly after the attack linked him to the crime.
Jury foreman Michael Voda of Phoenix said panelists talked about the victims' identifications of Goudeau and DNA evidence, which he said sealed the case.
"It left little doubt in everyone's mind," Voda said. "The DNA was really a linchpin to the case. It was pretty much irrefutable."
Goudeau could face 70 to 285 years in prison when he is sentenced in November; however, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has said he will seek the death penalty if Goudeau is later convicted of murder.
Goudeau, who grew up in Phoenix, already has spent much of his life behind bars.
He was imprisoned for 13 years after being convicted of crimes that included beating a woman's head against a barbell. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency paroled him eight years early in 2004. About a year later, police said, Goudeau started attacking again.
In August 2005, police said, Goudeau accosted three teenagers near Baseline Road in south Phoenix, forced them behind a church and molested two girls. In the months that followed, prosecutors say Goudeau killed nine people and committed many other crimes.
The attacks were occurring as Phoenix-area police investigated a second group of random late-night shootings. Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman were arrested in the so-called "Serial Shooter" case in August 2006 and are expected to go on trial next year.