LOS ANGELES — A judge has sentenced a serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” to death for 10 Los Angeles murders that spanned decades.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. was sentenced Wednesday for murdering a teenage girl and nine women in a poor section of the city between 1985 and 2007.

The crimes took police years to solve and community members complained detectives didn’t give the slayings enough attention because the victims were black and many were prostitutes who used crack cocaine.

The killer earned his moniker for an apparent hiatus in slayings, though authorities now think he never rested.

Earlier, a judge rejected a defense motion to set aside the death penalty verdict.

Judge Kathleen Kennedy said before the sentencing of Franklin that she didn’t buy the argument that the death penalty in California is unconstitutional.

Kennedy says there was overwhelming evidence to support the death penalty verdict against him.

Five members of the jury that decided he should die for his crime were in Los Angeles County Superior Court for the hearing.