REDWOOD CITY, CALIF., NOV. 16 -- A jury today sentenced mass murderer Ramon Salcido to die in the gas chamber for the 1989 wine country slayings of seven people, including his wife and two of their children.

Salcido, 29, showed no reaction when an interpreter told him the jury's verdict. One juror wept as the sentence was read.

Judge Reginald Littrell sent formal sentencing for Dec. 17. He has the power to reject the death penalty decision and impose the only other alternative, life in prison, but such a move is rare in California.

The jury received the penalty phase of the case Tuesday afternoon.

The same panel had found Salcido guilty of six counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Defense attorney Marteen Miller said the verdict would be appealed to U.S. District Court.

The Mexican-born Salcido, who fled to his home town of Los Mochis after the April 1989 slayings, was convicted of shooting or slashing to death his wife, Angela; his 4-year-old and 22-month-old daughters, Sofia and Teresa; his mother-in-law, Marion Richards; her 12-year-old and 8-year-old daughters, Ruth and Maria; and Tracey Toovey, 35, the winemaster at Grand Cru winery in Glen Ellen.