LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A jury discovered a person nicknamed the “Hollywood Ripper” responsible on Thursday of knifing to loss of life two ladies, together with actor Ashton Kutcher’s date, and trying to homicide a 3rd sufferer throughout a seven-year span.
Michael Gargiulo, a 43-year-old former handyman and aspiring actor, sat impassively, leaning ahead barely in his chair, because the jury verdict was learn.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court docket panel will subsequent contemplate whether or not Gargiulo was sane on the time of the crimes, in proceedings to start on Tuesday.
Kutcher, the previous star of TV reveals “Two and a Half Males” and “That ‘70s Present” advised the Los Angeles jury listening to the case in Might he arrived on the Hollywood bungalow of one of many victims in 2001, after arranging a date along with her, and located the lights on and the door locked.
Peering via a window within the house of the sufferer, style scholar Ashley Ellerin, the then 23-year-old Kutcher noticed “what I assumed was a pink wine spilled on the carpet.”
Kutcher left and Ellerin, 22, was discovered useless at her house the subsequent morning by a roommate. Gargiulo had damaged into her place and repeatedly stabbed her, prosecutors mentioned.
Ellerin was one of many ladies Gargiulo was convicted of murdering. The jury additionally discovered him responsible of utilizing a knife to kill his neighbor, Maria Bruno, in 2005.
Bruno, who was 32 and sleeping when she was attacked, lived in the identical condo advanced as Gargiulo in suburban El Monte, the Los Angeles District Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned in a press release.
The jury discovered Gargiulo responsible of trying to homicide a 3rd girl, Michelle Murphy, who survived a 2008 stabbing at her house within the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica.
On the time, Murphy and Gargiulo have been neighbors.
He attacked the then 26-year-old Murphy however she fought him off. Within the battle, Gargiulo was lower and left behind DNA proof, which police investigators used to tie him to the murders of Ellerin and Bruno, prosecutors mentioned.
Gargiulo’s attorneys have argued their shopper suffered from a psychological dysfunction that left him in a complicated “fugue state” when he attacked Murphy, the Los Angeles Occasions reported.
Gargiulo has denied committing the opposite slayings, the newspaper reported.
Jurors on Thursday discovered him responsible of making an attempt to flee from jail following his 2008 arrest. Prosecutors plan to hunt the loss of life penalty at a later stage of the trial.
They’ve mentioned Gargiulo started his collection of lethal knifings as a young person within the Chicago space in 1993, when he killed an 18-year-old girl.
Gargiulo is predicted to later be extradited to his house state of Illinois to face expenses in that killing.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Modifying by Invoice Tarrant, Alistair Bell and Lisa Shumaker