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Transient man convicted in two Santa Monica cold cases

A transient man was found guilty June 8 for killing two women in 2001 and 2002, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Edric Dashall Gross, 50, was found guilty of first-degree murder, with the special allegation of multiple murders, in the deaths of Jacqueline Lea Ovsak, 42, and Dana Victoria Caper, 41. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Ovsak was found strangled in an abandoned Santa Monica home on April 5, 2001. More than a year later, on Oct. 29, 2002, Caper was found strangled below the bluffs in Santa Monica, prosecutors said. Both women were transients in the area, and investigators said both had been sexually assaulted.

DNA evidence was traced to Gross in 2007, and he was arrested in 2012, according to prosecutors.

Gross was tried in 2015, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The case was retried in March. 

Gross is scheduled to return to court on June 24 for a sentencing hearing, where he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter. Times staff writer Ruben Vives contributed to this report.

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