Hollywood Ripper Facing Life In Prison Over Ashton Kutcher’s Girlfriend's Murder

Shutterstock (3); LAPD
Source: Shutterstock (3); LAPD

Oct. 21 2019, Updated 7:49 p.m. ET

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Hollywood RipperMichael Gargiulo is facing the death penalty after being convicted of the murders of Ashton Kutcher’s former girlfriend and a mom of four.

A Los Angeles jury is still deciding whether to have the killer executed, or give him life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gargiulo “has led a life of crime and violence that has left a swath of death, grief and destruction behind him,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Akemon told the panel this Monday, October 7. ”He has earned and deserves the maximum penalty of death.”

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In court, parents of the victims broke down in tears describing the brutal deaths and the family’s mourning. Gargiulo, 43, who had his head shaved and wore glasses, appeared emotionless.

“Mr. Gargiulo is going to die in prison. The question is when? Is it going to be in God’s time or is it going to be in your time?” Defense attorney Dale Rubin said. readers know that this August, Gargiulo was found guilty of the 2005 murder of Maria Bruno, 32, and the 2001 murder of Ashley Ellerin, 22. The serial killer slayed Bruno inside her in El Monte home, and slaughtered Ellen in a similar manner inside her Hollywood home. Officials said Gargiulo stabbed Ellerin with a knife 47 times, so viciously that her head was nearly severed from her body. At the time, she had been getting ready for a date with Kutcher. The actor testified that when he went to her house to meet her, she didn’t answer the door, so he looked through the window and noticed what he though were red wine stains. Thinking that she had left without him, he returned home. He didn’t learn of her death until the next day.

Ashton Kutcher

Gargiulo was also found guilty of attempting to kill Michelle Murphy in 2008. He is still awaiting trial in Illinois for the 1993 slaying of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio, who was his friend’s sister.

While his defense attorney argued that the murderer suffers from multiple personality disorder, jurors found that Gargiulo was sane at the time of the crimes. They also found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder while lying in wait, making him eligible for the death penalty.

During his opening statement in the penalty phase, Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Akemon said Gargiulo had attacked 11 women, including a teenage neighbor he threatened at knifepoint, a female jailer who stood in the way of his escape, and two women who testified they were raped by him.

“There are no less than 11 different women who have become the targets of Mr. Gargiulo’s violence,” Akemon said. “He’s a sadistic, thrill-seeking psychopath. He kills and maims for his own personal pleasure.”



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