LOS ANGELES (AP) — Opening statements have begun in the Los Angeles murder trial of an air conditioning repairman charged with the stabbing deaths of two women and a suburban Chicago teenager for sexual gratification.
Michael Gargiulo’s trial began Thursday with prosecutors outlining the California cases for jurors.
The 43-year-old Gargiulo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and an attempted-murder charge stemming from attacks in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008, including the death of actor Ashton Kutcher’s former girlfriend, 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin.
Gargiulo was arrested in 2008 after DNA evidence linked him to the killings. He was subsequently separately charged with killing 17-year-old Tricia Pacaccio of Glenview, Illinois, whose father found her fatally stabbed on their family’s doorstep, house key still in hand.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
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