Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis step out just hours after 'Hollywood Ripper' gets convicted of murder
16 August, 2019, 16:47
Accused serial killer Michael Gargiulo, aka "Hollywood Ripper", has been found guilty of the murder of two women, including one who was dating Ashton Kutcher at the time, and the attempted murder of another one.
Gargiulo is also awaiting trial for a murder charge in IL where he is accused of the August 14, 1993 murder of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio, the sister of one of his friends.
In 2001, Mr Kutcher knocked on the door of 22-year old Ashley Ellerin, received no answer, and assumed his date had left for the night because he was late, he told the court in May.
Kutcher, who in 2001 was a rising star of "That '70s Show", testified early in the trial that he and Ellerin were just getting to know each other and had made plans to go out together for drinks.
Gargiulo will move onto the sanity phase of the trial, which will determine if he was sane during the killings, and this will begin on Tuesday. The death penalty is a possibility during his sentencing at a later date, although California recently issued a moratorium on executions.
She had been stabbed 47 times. It was also at that time that police linked him to the murder of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in 1993.
Prosecutors said Gargiulo "took pleasure in plunging a knife into his victims over and over again, leaving them to die and be found by their loved ones".
The defense relied heavily on the lack of forensic or eyewitness evidence putting Gargiulo at the scenes of the killings. "Each of the victims was attacked in or around her home and in close proximity of Mr. Gargiulo". Ms Bruno was attacked and killed with a knife while she slept. Kutcher was informed of Ellerin's death the following day.
Gargiulo's lawyers have argued their client suffered from a mental disorder that left him in a confusing "fugue state" during the attack on Murphy, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2005, prosecutors alleged he killed Bruno, a 32-year-old mother of four who lived in his apartment complex.
"I can assure you at the conclusion of that presentation of evidence, you'll not find one single bit of physical evidence attributed to Ms. Ellerin's death", Nardoni said, per KABC. Murphy was stabbed while in bed at her Santa Monica apartment but was able to fight back, causing the attacker to cut himself.
He is likely to be extradited to IL to face a separate trial in that case, which unearthed new evidence in 2011.
Prosecutor Dan Akemon had told jurors that Gargiulo was a "stone-cold serial killer who preys on women", and had targeted his victims in "frenzied knife attacks".
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