'Hollywood Ripper' Michael Gargiulo who was convicted of murdering Ashton Kutcher's ex-girlfriend faces death penalty hearing
The 43-year-old has been described as a serial killer who fatally stabbing the actor's former girlfriend Ashley Ellerin and killed Maria Bruno, a 32-year-old mother of four
Michael Gargiulo, also known as the 'Hollywood Ripper', is facing execution after prosecutors called for the death penalty after his conviction in the murders of Ashley Ellerin, actor Ashton Kutcher's former girlfriend, and mother-of-four Maria Bruno.
Gargiulo, an aspiring actor, has been described as a serial killer guilty of fatally stabbing Ellerin, Bruno, and attempting to kill a third woman in their homes in Southern California.
It is now up to a jury in downtown Los Angeles to decide whether to recommend a death sentence for the 43-year-old or to sentence him to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Gargiulo, during the hearing on Monday, remained emotionless as the victims' parents described how they lost their loved ones in horrific circumstances.
Gargiulo was found guilty of the murders in August this year after he murdered 22-year-old Ellerin in 2001, and 32-year-old Bruno in 2005.
Ellerin, on the day of her death, was waiting at her home in Hollywood before a planned date with Ashton Kutcher.
The actor also testified in the trial earlier this year. He revealed how he was at her home on the day of her death and even knocked on her door before leaving as no one answered.
Ellerin, at the time, was lying dead in a pool of blood inside her apartment. She was stabbed so brutally that her head was nearly completely severed.
Gargiulo was also convicted of the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy in 2008. He reportedly lived in the vicinity of all of his victims.
According to prosecutors, the Chicago native moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s and had already made his first kill with 18-year-old friend Tricia Pacaccio in 1993 in Illinois.
Gargiulo, however, is yet to face trial over Pacaccio's death.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon, on Monday, said that the suspect had "led a life of crime and violence that has left a swath of death, grief and destruction" behind him.
"He has earned and deserves the maximum penalty of death," he said, according to the Daily Mail.
Ellerin's mother, Cynthia, who was also present at the hearing, told the court: "I ache for her. I ache to hold her. I ache to hear her voice, to hug her. But that's not going to happen. I'm just empty without her. I'm sick to my stomach because she was mutilated to death."