Mark Goudeau, the man police and prosecutors think is the "Baseline Killer," doesn't go on trial until November.
But his case was in court Monday and Tuesday as a judge considers whether there is probable cause to seek the death penalty against him.
Goudeau did not attend the hearings.
In court testimony Tuesday, new details emerged about the nine slayings and other crimes committed in 2005 and 2006 by the so-called Baseline Killer.
All were linked by ballistics. And the method of operation was remarkably similar, both in the killings and in sexual assaults where the victims survived.
The women were forced to undress. If they cooperated, they lived. If they didn't cooperate, they were shot in the head at close range.
And the stories of the survivors seem to give insight into what happened to the dead - eight women and one man who got in the way.
Goudeau knew one of the women, and his DNA was found on her body. Blood and DNA and personal belongings from others were found in Goudeau's home. All of the women's bodies were found in early stages of undress, as if they had refused to go further.
"Mark Goudeau was extremely consistent in his crimes," said prosecutor Suzanne Cohen.
Goudeau, 46, faces 74 counts, including multiple robberies and sexual assaults.
He has already been sentenced to 438 years in prison for 19 charges relating to a September 2005 sexual attack on two sisters in Phoenix, another case that fits the method of the Baseline Killer files.
In order to seek the death penalty, however, prosecutors must prove that there are aggravating factors that call for the harshest punishment. Early on in the case, they file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty and cite possible aggravators from a list set out in state statutes.
On Monday, Judge Warren Granville of Maricopa County Superior Court determined that there was probable cause for three aggravating factors in all of the murder cases should Goudeau be found guilty:
• That Goudeau has been convicted of another offense. In addition to the sexual assaults, he served time in prison for aggravated assault and armed robbery.
• That he committed multiple offenses.
• That he committed the crimes while on parole.
On Tuesday, the court heard testimony on two other potential aggravators: that more than one murder occurred and that the murders were especially cruel.
Granville has not yet ruled on those matters.
If Goudeau is convicted, prosecutors will have to prove the aggravators to a jury. Only one is required to impose a death sentence.
Former Phoenix police Detective Alex Femenia took the stand Tuesday to describe the crimes.
They took place in a square mile of central Phoenix bordered by Thomas and Indian School Roads and 24th and 32nd Streets - Goudeau lived in that neighborhood - or along a miles-long stretch of Baseline Road.
Most of the dead women were found with their pants unzipped or pulled slightly down and with bullets in their heads. One was found dead in her bathtub, another hidden between a house and a storage container.
Police were also able to determine how the killer operated because of a woman who got away. She was forced to undress, and when she refused to cooperate, her assailant pointed his gun at her and pulled the trigger, but it misfired.
That very same evening, the Baseline Killer claimed his last victim, a woman snatched at a car wash and then found dead in her car behind a nearby building.
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