The man who murdered two women in Southern California and was known as the “boy next door” killer or “Hollywood Ripper” was sentenced to death.
Michael Gargiulo was in a Los Angeles courtroom on July 16, where the judge handed down the punishment. A jury recommended the death penalty in October 2019, but it wasn’t officially handed down until 18 months later due to delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was convicted in 2019 of the murders of Ashley Ellerin, 22, and Maria Bruno, 32, according to media reports. Both women were mutilated but were attacked years apart. Ellerin was a victim in 2001 and Bruno in 2005.
Gargiulo denied he was the killer during his sentencing hearing.
"I'm innocent," he said, according to FOX11. "I've been framed by tunnel-vision detectives."
Ellerin was attacked as she was preparing to head on a date with A-list actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified during the trial. Bruno was attacked in her home. Prosecutors noted that all of the victims were young and attractive.
Gargiulo also was convicted of attempted murder in the 2008 attack of a woman who fought him off and fled her apartment.
He also faces a future trial in Illinois in connection to a 1997 murder in his hometown.
While Gargiulo has been sentenced to death, his execution date is unclear. California hasn’t performed an execution since 2006 and currently has a moratorium on carrying them out. Also, there are often several appeals after a person is sentenced to death.