An ex-con pleaded no contest today to murdering four people during robberies at their homes in Hawthorne and Los Angeles within a month in 2010.
John Wesley Ewell — who had been facing a potential death sentence if he had gone to trial and been convicted of the slayings — now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole in connection with his plea to four counts each of murder and residential robbery.
The 62-year-old defendant is set to be sentenced July 19.
Ewell pleaded no contest to the Sept. 24, 2010, slaying of Hanna Marcos in his Hawthorne home, the Oct. 13, 2010, killing of Denise Roberts in her Los Angeles home, and the Oct. 22, 2010, slayings of Leamon and Robyn Turnage in their Hawthorne home.
Ewell — who had prior convictions for robbery in 1988 and 2005 –also admitted the special circumstance allegations of murder during the course of a robbery and multiple murders.
He was initially charged in October 2010 with murdering the Turnages, who were beaten and strangled in their ransacked home in the 4100 block of West 142nd Street.
The two — who were bound and gagged — had just returned to the Southland from a trip to Florida to visit their son and daughter-in-law for the birth of their first grandchild.
In November 2010, he was charged with murdering Marcos and Roberts, who were both strangled.
Marcos was attacked in his home in the 4100 block of West 137thStreet, while Roberts’ home was near where Ewell was living at the time in the 12600 block of Hoover Street.