CLEVELAND — The father of a woman whose head was found at the Cleveland home of a suspected serial killer has endorsed a plea deal to spare relatives a traumatic trial.

Fifty-two-year-old Jim Allen delivered a petition Thursday to the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County prosecutor backing a life sentence instead of the death penalty in return for a guilty plea from 51-year-old Anthony Sowell (SOH'-wehl).

The 17 signatures represent families of eight of 11 women Sowell is accused of killing.

Ten bodies were dumped in and around Sowell's home. The head of Allen's daughter, 25-year-old Leshanda Long, was dumped in a bucket but her body wasn't found.

The prosecutor's office says a gag order bars comment. Last week Prosecutor Bill Mason reiterated his determination to get the death penalty.

Jury selection began Monday.