Michael Hughes (serial killer)

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Michael Hughes
Victims 7
Span of killings
Country United States
State(s) California
Date apprehended

Michael Hughes (born c. 1956) is an American serial killer convicted and sentenced to life without parole for the murders of four women and girls in California, and later, in another trial, sentenced to death for the murders of three other women.


Authorities suspect there may have been other victims. As of 2008, detectives were investigating Hughes' possible involvement in other killings around the U.S. While Hughes was in the navy he spent time in Michigan, San Diego, Long Beach and Frostburg, Maryland.[1][2]

  1. Yvonne Coleman, 15. 22 January 1986.[2]
  2. Verna Patricia Williams, 36. 26 May 1986.[2]
  3. Deborah Jackson, 30, aka Harriet McKinley. 1 December 1987.[2]
  4. Theresa Ballard, 26. 23 September 1992.[3]
  5. Brenda Bradley, 38, 5 October 1992. A niece of former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley.[4]
  6. Terri Myles, 33. 8 November 1993.[3]
  7. Jamille Harrington, aka Jamie Harrington. 14 November 1993.[3]

First trial[edit]

In December 1993, Hughes, a security guard, was arrested in Culver City. In 1998, he was convicted and given a life sentence without parole for the strangling murders of Teresa Ballard, Brenda Bradley, Terri Myles and Jamie Harrington.[1][3]

Ballard, 26, was found in Los Angeles' Jesse Owens County Park on September 23, 1992. The other victims were found dumped in alleys in a Culver City commercial area: 38-year-old Bradley; Myles, 33, found on November 8, 1993; and Harrington, 29, found on November 14, 1993.[3]

Second trial[edit]

On July 3, 2008, Hughes was charged with sexually assaulting and strangling two women and two teenage girls in the Los Angeles area between 1986 and 1993, after homicide detectives linked him to DNA samples from the victims using new forensic technologies. The case of Deanna Wilson, 30, who was found in a garage on August 30, 1990, was later dropped, but was used by prosecutors to establish Hughes' pattern.

Hughes killed 15-year-old Yvonne Coleman on January 22, 1986. Her body was found in a park in Inglewood, California. The other two were killed in Los Angeles. Verna Williams, 36, was discovered in a stairwell on May 26, 1986. She was considered at the time to be a victim of the prolific, then-unidentified serial killer known as the Southside Slayer (later dubbed the Grim Sleeper, and later still identified as Lonnie David Franklin Jr.). Deborah Jackson, 32, was found on June 25, 1993.[5]

Hughes was convicted in November 2011 and sentenced to death in June 2012 for the murders of Coleman, Williams, and McKinley.[6] Hughes motion to reduce his sentence to life without parole, based on upsetting events from his early life, namely that he was beaten as a child and had watched his mother give his sister an abortion, was denied.[7]

Hughes is awaiting execution on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Watkins, Thomas (2008-07-03). "Convict appears in court in cold-case killings". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Serial killer: Michael Hughes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Leonard, Jack (2008-06-28). "Inmate accused of murder in deaths of four women over 7-year span". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  4. ^ Associated Press (22 June 2012). "LA serial killer sentenced to death for 3 murders". KansasCity.com. The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Watkins, Thomas (2008-07-04). "Convicted serial killer faces more charges". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. B–6. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  6. ^ "South L.A. Serial Killer Michael Hughes Sentenced to Death". ktla.com. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Leu, Melissa (23 June 2012). "South L.A. serial killer gets death sentence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 June 2012.