Following Ashton Kutcher's Testimony, “Hollywood Ripper” Michael Gargiulo Convicted Of Killing 2 Women
Michael Gargiulo, known as the "Hollywood Ripper," was found guilty of the murder of two women and the attempted murder of another on Thursday by a Los Angeles jury, The LA Times reports. Specifically, he was found guilty of the 2001 murder of 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin, the 2005 murder of 32-year-old Maria Bruno, and the 2008 attempted murder of Michelle Murphy. He was also charged with attempting to escape jail. This decision comes after Ashton Kutcher testified in court in relation to Ellerin, who was getting ready for a date with Kutcher at the time of her death.
On February 21, 2001, Kutcher arrived at Ellerin's doorstep and rang the bell after she had failed to answer her phone a half hour earlier. Kutcher told the court he "didn’t see anything and just assumed she had gone out with her friend and bailed," according to People. "I assumed she had left for the night and I was late and she was upset."
Her roommate found her dead the next morning, stabbed 47 times.
“My fingerprints are on this door and I was freaking out,” Kutcher continued in the testimony. “I told [an officer], ‘Let me tell you what happened.’"
This testimony was the first time Kutcher spoke publicly about Ellerin's death. It helped establish the timeline of her death and, eventually, the jury's decision.
Gargiulo, who pleaded not guilty due to insanity, now awaits the jury's determination of his sanity at the time of the attacks, People reports. If they determine he was sane and reject his plea, the case will move forward to the death penalty phase on Tuesday. He currently also faces an additional murder charge in Illinois regarding the 1993 death of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio.
“He targeted them for murder and … attacked all of them with a knife,” prosecutor Dan Akemon explained during the trial.
Kutcher did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.