In a stunning blow to the defense's theory that another man killed Ashton Kutcher's ex-girlfriend, testimony in the shocking murder trial revealed the man who had sex with Ashley Ellerin the night before she was found bludgeoned to death claimed he did not kill the blonde beauty.
One day after Kutcher took the stand and said he "freaked out" after realizing that his own fingerprints were at the murder scene, Mark Durbin testified at a Los Angeles court as a prosecution witness about his sexual relationship with Ellerin. Michael Gargiulo has been charged with Ellerin's murder and the deaths of two other women.
On Thursday, May 30, defense attorney Dale Rubin hammered Durbin on details about his sexual encounter with Ellerin on Feb 21, 2001 – the night before the 22-year old was found stabbed death 47 times in her Hollywood apartment.
When Rubin asked Durbin if he killed Ellerin, he said, "No, I did not."
Durbin, who managed the bungalow where Ellerin lived, said he was "just hanging out" with Ellerin that night from about 7 to 8 p.m. Durbin said at some point, Ellerin took a shower while he was still there.
Durbin said shortly after, their encounter turned physical.
"Our faces were close to each other... there was a certain electricity," Durbin said in describing the tryst. "I don't remember if I kissed her first or if she kissed me, but it was a mutual thing."
Durbin said they made love for about 15 minutes and he left Ellerin's apartment shortly after because he was expecting his own girlfriend to arrive at the nearby apartment.
When Rubin asked Durbin if he remembered making a statement to police that Ellerin was on the phone with another man and making arrangements for a date later that night, a visibly angry and frustrated Durbin answered yes.
On May 29, Kutcher testified that he spoke to Ellerin on the phone at 8:24 p.m. and made arrangements to pick her up at her apartment later that night. Kutcher said he got to Ellerin's apartment at about 10:30 or 10:45 p.m., but Ellerin never responded to his calls, or when he knocked on her door. The actor said he left the area shortly after.
"The phone call that you heard... if it was at 8:24 p.m., how would that affect your time frame," Rubin asked Durbin.
"It certainly would... when I say 8:15 p.m., it could've been 8:25 p.m.," Durbin said.
"The problem is, he doesn't remember which phone call it was," the judge chimed in.
"If that call was made at 8:24 p.m., you still would've been there, right," Rubin asked Durbin.
"Again, that's possible," Durbin responded.
Rubin also questioned Durbin about a fresh cut that was on his arm that detectives noted on a report.
Durbin said he showed police the wound because he became concerned that he could be suspected of Ellerin's murder.
"Did you tell police that Ms. Ellerin was trying to conquer you," Rubin asked.
"Just that she was very attractive to me and that she wanted me to be a part of her life," Durbin answered.
When Rubin asked Durbin whether he has ever spoke his girlfriend, who is now his wife, about his encounters with Ellerin, Durbin replied, "We never discussed it."
"So, you continued to lie to her all these years," Rubin asked.
"No," Durbin replied quickly.
When Prosecutor Daniel Akemon asked Durbin if he killed Ashley Ellerin, Durbin wiped his eyes with tissue and took a deep breath.
"No, I did not," Durbin answered.
Stay with Radar for continuing coverage of the murder trial.