A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that Anthony McKnight "deserves nothing less than the death penalty" for his convictions for murdering five young women in the East Bay over a four-month span in 1985.
Meehan said the aggravating evidence includes the viciousness of the five murders themselves plus evidence that McKnight brutally attacked six other women in incidents he said they wouldn't have survived without medical intervention.
"If it were left up to Anthony McKnight, we could be talking about 11 murders instead of only five," Prosecutor Jim Meehan said.
The prosecutor called McKnight an "animal" and told jurors to "judge a man based on what he does when he thinks no one is watching.
In his closing argument in the penalty phase of McKnight's trial in Alameda County Superior Court, Meehan said he believes the aggravating evidence in favor of the death penalty far outweighs mitigating evidence in favor of the alternative finding of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Sept. 17 the same jurors convicted McKnight, 54, of five counts of first-degree murder as well as five special circumstances murder clauses.
Three of the special circumstances are for committing murder during the course of a rape, one is for committing murder during sodomy and one is for committing multiple murders.
McKnight, a former Navy-enlisted man who lived in Oakland and was assigned to the Alameda Naval Air Station, is already serving a 63-year term in state prison because he was convicted in August 1987 of 11 felony counts, including attempted murder, mayhem, kidnapping and forced oral copulation, for attacks on six prostitutes between 1984 and his arrest in January 1986.
After he began serving his prison sentence, authorities used new DNA analysis techniques to connect McKnight to the murders in his current case, which occurred in secluded locations in Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and Richmond between September and December of 1985.
McKnight's two defense lawyers will present their closing arguments on Wednesday. Jurors will then begin deliberating on whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison without parole.