A Cook County Criminal Court judge on Monday signed the death warrant for convicted killer Paul Runge, according to the Cook County States Attorneys office.
Criminal Court Judge J.G. Kazmierski Jr. signed the death warrant for Runge, states attorneys office spokesman Andy Conklin said. In signing the warrant, Kazmierski certified a jurys recommendation in late February to sentence Runge to death.
A jury earlier this year convicted Runge of raping and slashing the throats of Yolanda Gutierrez, 35, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica Muniz. The 2 bodies were found in February 1997, badly burned and showing signs of sexual assault; DNA taken from Jessica's throat linked back to Runge, who confessed to the crimes -- and allegedly to the murders of 5 other women -- on videotape.
Runge will be on death row until all of his appeals are exhausted, which can take a number of years, according to a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. She could not provide an exact time frame for how long Runge could spend on death row.