Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty in 1976 Murder

Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty in 1976 Murder

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the man accused in a 28-year-old "cold case" murder.

Gayle Gilbert Benavidez was charged yesterday with capital murder in the death of a 24-year-old woman near a Salt Lake City halfway house back in 1976.

Carolyn Sarkensians was found raped and strangled near the halfway house where Benavidez had been living following a 1975 conviction for raping a 15-year-old girl.

A recent D-N-A test linked Benavidez to the crime.

Benavidez has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1973 that includes two rape convictions.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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