A 53-year-old man has pleaded no contest to two counts of murder for sexually assaulting and strangling two women in the Oakland hills 22 years ago.

Monte Crawford entered his pleas on Wednesday in an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to receive a term of 40 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay on Aug. 1.

Crawford pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for the death of Tredis Penny, whose naked body was found near Skyline Road in the Oakland hills on Feb. 24, 1992.

Crawford also pleaded no contest to first-degree murder for the death of Shirley Wynn, whose body was found a half-mile away near Golf Links Road five days later, on March 1, 1992, prosecutors said.

Both murders occurred near the home of Crawford's grandparents, according to prosecutors. The murders of Penny and Wynn remained unsolved for 16 years until 2008, when DNA evidence linked Crawford to their deaths, prosecutors said.

The DNA matches occurred shortly before Crawford finished serving a term in a prison in Washington state for a sexual offense he committed there, according to authorities.

Crawford was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial shortly after murder charges were filed against him in 2008, but he was found to be mentally competent in 2009.

Crawford's attorney, Bob Mertens, couldn't immediately be reached for comment today.



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