HOUSTON (AP) – A man accused of strangling four females over nine years has been convicted of capital murder in one of the deaths.

Jurors deliberated less than three hours Thursday before convicting Allen Shore, 42, in the death of 21-year-old Maria Del Carmen Estrada. She was sexually assaulted, strangled with a nylon cord and left dead behind a fast-food restaurant in April 1992.

The punishment phase of Shore’s trial was to begin Friday. He faces the possibility of the death penalty.

Shore showed no emotion as the jury’s verdict was announced.

During the punishment phase, jurors will hear about the three other females Shore is accused of killing: two teenagers and a 9-year-old girl.

Faced with DNA tests and Shore’s tape-recorded confession to police, his lawyers have conceded his guilt.

They have tried to avoid a possible death penalty by denying a kidnapping or a sexual assault, which raised the charge from murder to capital murder.

“He intended to kill her. He killed her. It’s disgusting. It’s depraved. It’s maniacal. But it’s not capital murder,” attorney Gerald Bourque told jurors.

Prosecutor Terese Buess told panelists to use their “common sense.”

“Is there any doubt in your mind that an aggravated sexual assault was committed here?” Buess asked.

Shore, a former telephone repairman and tow truck driver, was arrested last year after new DNA tests on scrapings found underneath Estrada’s fingernails. The DNA was on file because of his 1998 guilty plea to molesting two young women in his family.

AP-ES-10-22-04 0150EDT

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