CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ A jury today recommended nine death sentences for Henry Louis Wallace, one for each victim the former fast-food worker admitted he killed.

Wallace, 31, admitted to police that he killed the nine Charlotte women between June 1992 and his arrest in March 1994. Two of the women were stabbed and the rest were strangled. All were acquaintances of his.

Reading from a statement, Wallace expressed remorse and said he wished he could bring the women back to life if that meant giving up his life.

``What words in any language can I say to you to comfort you or free you from this mental prison I put you in?'' he said, addressing the gallery. ``I'm sorry. I apologize I didn't mean to do it.

``None of these women, your daughters, your sisters, or your children in any way deserved what they got. They did nothing to me to warrant their deaths.''

Several relatives of the victims began sobbing as Wallace spoke. When he finished, George Burrell, the cousin of victim Brandi Henderson, yelled, ``Why did you kill them?''

Kathy Love, the sister of victim Caroline Love, screamed and lunged toward Wallace. She was removed by sheriff's deputies.

Prosecutors said Wallace was a calculating, coldblooded killer who preyed on friends and co-workers and hid his crimes by meticulously cleaning up murder scenes.

The defense didn't deny Wallace was a killer but claimed he was mentally ill. Attorneys sought to show that he was unable to form the intent to kill.

Wallace, young, black and addicted to crack cocaine, was a Navy veteran who bounced around from job to job at fast-food restaurants.

He avoided suspicion for months, even though his name appeared in the address books of some of his victims. Wallace once went to police with the sister of one victim to turn in a missing person report.

Police arrested Wallace after four young women were slain in their homes in the same working-class neighborhood. He has not yet been tried for two other killings, one in the Charlotte area and another in South Carolina.

Wallace was convicted three weeks ago. The death sentences for first-degree murder will automatically be appealed.