HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Actor Ashton Kutcher, 41, testified on Wednesday, May 29 in the capital murder case of Michael Gargiulo who allegedly killed Ashley Ellerin, 22, in 2001.
Gargiulo pleaded not guilty on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder between 2001 and 2008 for stabbing attacks that took place in Los Angeles. He is eligible for the death penalty.
Kutcher, stated during the trial that he last spoke to Ellerin on February 21, 2001 at 8:24 p.m. He called to inform he would be late for their scheduled date. During the call to Ellerin she stated her phone was broken as she was using a friends phone.
Police reports indicated that Kutcher arrived between 10:30 p.m., and 10:45 p.m, after several unanswered calls his date. Upon arriving to her Hollywood Hills home she never opened the door. He peered thru the window where he saw what he thought was red wine on the carpet.
The following day Ellerin was found dead by her roommate outside her bathroom. Forensic evidence revealed she was stabbed 47 times including on the throat nearly decapitating her head.
Gargiulo was an air conditioning repair man who lived in an apartment complex nearby when he first met Ellerin where he offered to change her flat tire. After several visits to her home, Gargiulo soon showed up uninvited.
“All of the attacks occurred at night, all of the victims suffered multiple stab wounds, all of the victims were stabbed with the knife, each of the victims was attacked in or around her home and in close proximity of Mr. Gargiulo,” stated Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon during Wednesday’s trail.
Prior to Ellerin death, neighbors witnessed the suspect routinely park in front of her home during various hours of the day.
The decades long case is connected to a string of other women who were murdered by Gargiulo
In 2008, Michelle Murphy, 26, of Santa Monica survived her attack against Gargiulo when he broke into her apartment while she slept. The victim woke up fighting back as she sustained stabs to her arms and chest.
Murphy’s attack helped authorities trace evidence back to Gargiulo after his DNA was found in her home.
Gargiulo was arrested in June 2008 by officers from the Santa Monica Police Department and charged with the murder of Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno, who was killed in December 2005 at her El Monte apartment. According to police reports, Bruno was stabbed 17 times and had her breasts implants cut off.
He was also connected to the August 14, 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio, 18, a high school graduate from Glenview, Illinois. She was repeatedly stabbed to death on her backdoor steps after returning home from a night out with friends.
His trail commenced on May 2, 2019 and is expected to last several months with up to 100 witnesses set to testify. Gargiulo has pleaded not guilty to all the murders in the state of California.