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An inmate at California Medical Facility in Vacaville who pleaded guilty to murdering five teenage girls in Los Angeles County in 1979 died of natural causes Monday night, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Roy Lewis Norris, 72, pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him to avoid the death penalty, and was sentenced on April 28, 1981, to 45 years to life for four counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and two counts of forcible rape and robbery.

Norris and co-defendant Lawrence Sigmond Bittaker kidnapped, raped and tortured the girls between June 14 and Oct. 31, 1979. Norris was on parole at the time for a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon and rape in San Diego County. The bodies of two of the teen girls were never found, according to the CDCR.

As part of the plea agreement, Norris testified against Bittaker, and Bittaker was found guilty of all 26 counts against him. The counts included murder, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, oral copulation and conspiracy. Bittaker was sentenced to death on March 22, 1981, and he died on death row at San Quentin State Prison on Dec. 13, 2019.

Norris was denied parole on March 26, 2019 and his next parole hearing was scheduled for 2029.

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