A man dubbed the “Hollywood Ripper” was sentenced to death on Friday, July 16 in the murders of two women and the attempted murder of another.
Michael Gargiulo, 45, was found guilty of the murder charges by a California jury in August 2019, according to CNN.
The case was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and other procedural issues.
This case gained notoriety because one of the victims was killed on the night that she had plans to go on a date with actor, Ashton Kutcher, who later testified during the trial.
Prosecutors described Gargiulo as a killer who charmed women in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
According to CNN, prosecutors suggested that he put on an act like a friendly neighbor and handyman before breaking into their homes and stabbing the victims to death.
Gargiulo has maintained his innocence during the entire trial. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler handed Gargiulo his death sentence on Friday, and denied his request for a new trial.
“Everywhere that Mr. Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed him,” Fidler said during the hearing.
According to USA Today, Gargiulo was found guilty of the 2001 murder of Ashley Ellerin, a 22-year-old student, in her Hollywood home as she prepared to go out with Kutcher.
At the trial, Kutcher testified that he was late to pick up Ellerin, who did not answer her door. Ellerin was found dead with 47 stab wounds.
USA Today reported that Gargiulo was also found guilty of the murder of 32-year-old Maria Bruno, a mother of four, in her El Monte home in 2005. Bruno’s breasts were cut off and her implants were removed.
Gargiulo was charged in the 2008 attempted murder of Michelle Murphy, who fought him off in her Santa Monica apartment. Murphy forced him to flee and he left a blood trail that also led to his eventual arrests for the two murders. Murphy was a key witness in the trial.
“To this day, spending the night alone creates a world of fear in me,” Murphy said in court before the sentencing.
According to BBC News, Gargiulo is now expected to stand trial in Illinois, where he faces a separate murder charge of an 18-year-old woman in 1993.