Guilty verdict in 'Kensington Strangler' trial

PHILADELPHIA - August 16, 2012

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty against 23-year-old Antonio Rodriguez, who has a history of mental illness.

Police used DNA to identify Antonio Rodriguez as the suspect after the slayings terrorized the gritty Kensington neighborhood in late 2010. Crime-scene photos presented during the non-jury trial Tuesday show a condom he allegedly left behind.

In his January 2011 statement, Rodriguez acknowledged that he used a condom with the last victim because he knew police were on the hunt for the feared strangler. Rodriguez also told police the first death was accidental during rough sex, but said he purposely choked the other two women as they fought him.

The victims, all struggling with drug addiction, died within blocks of each other. Rodriguez told police they were "working" or available for sex. Each was found semi-nude.

Nursing student Elaine Goldberg of Philadelphia, 21, was found dead in an abandoned lot on Nov. 3. Nicole Piacentini, 35, of Philadelphia was found in a trash-strewn abandoned house on Nov. 13. Casey Mahoney, 27, of East Stroudsburg, was found dead on Dec. 15.

The spilled contents of one woman's purse included a flyer for a drug-treatment program and a message from a doctor that an unspecified test was negative.

Rodriguez waived his right to a jury trial. Neither side made opening statements. Without a jury, the trial moved swiftly before Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart. A series of crime-scene investigators testified.

The most graphic photographs were shown privately to the judge, presumably to spare the victims' family and friends in the courtroom.

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