Arraignment was postponed for Lonnie Franklin Jr. (a.k.a. the “grim sleeper) until August 23rd because of a change in his public defender. The Los Angeles man who was charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder that took place over a 22-year period is expected to enter a “not guilty” plea. Franklin’s “grim sleeper” nickname came about because of a 14-year gap in killings, the most recent of which took place in 2007.
In this state, an arraignment is the first stage of the California criminal court process. As the first stage of this process, a California arraignment is the defendant’s first opportunity to enter a plea. People who are represented by an attorney generally enter a “not guilty” plea at the arraignment, since there hasn’t been much time to conduct an in-depth investigation into the case.
However, there may be times when entering a guilty or “no contest” plea may be beneficial as well. Perhaps you know that other charges should have also been filed that were inadvertently ignored, perhaps you simply want to “get on with your life”, perhaps you can’t afford the time and expense of fighting the case.
Whatever the circumstances, California arraignment law is strictly regulated and must comply with rigid timelines…if it does not, the state may be forced to drop its charges against you.