Hollywood Ripper Gargiulo sentenced to death, won’t be executed right away
- Michael Gargiulo was sentenced to death by the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday
- Garugiulo is convicted of two counts of murder in the first-degree and one attempted murder
- He will not be executed right away because of the moratorium on executions in Los Angeles
Serial killer Michael Gargiulo, known as the Hollywood Ripper, was sentenced to death on Friday for the gruesome murder of two women in the early 2000s. The 45-year-old Gargiulo was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in 2019.
His first victim was 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin. On the night of her murder, Ellerin was due to go on a date with Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher. Ellerin was found dead at her Hollywood home with 47 stab wounds in February 2001. Kutcher himself testified at the trial.
The second murder victim was Maria Bruno, 32-year-old mother of four and Gargiulo’s neighbour. In December 2005, Gargiulo attacked her in her sleep and ‘quite literally butchered’, prosecutors said.
“In this case, everywhere that Mr. Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said Friday as he announced the sentence.
Prosecutor Dan Akemon said Gargiulo targeted women who lived near him and waited for the perfect opportunity to attack them at night in or near their homes in ‘totally planned killings’.
At Friday’s sentencing session, Gargiulo once again insisted that he was innocent.
Michael Gargiulo was arrested in 2008 following an attack on a woman in her apartment in Santa Monica, near Los Angeles. She survived and testified at the trial.
Gargiulo also faces murder charges in Illinois stemming from an attack in 1993.
Despite the sentencing Gargiulo will not be executed right away.
California is famously liberal and Democratic and Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on executions in 2019.
Prior to that the death penalty was last carried out in California in 2006, when it was halted by a federal court order.