(Reuters) – A California judge sentenced the so-called “Hollywood Ripper” to death on Friday for the murders of two women in the early 2000s, one of whom was preparing to meet with actor Ashton Kutcher.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Paul Fidler handed down the sentence for Michael Thomas Gargiulo, a 45-year-old former handyman and air-conditioner repairman who was also called “Neighbor Killer” and “Assassino do Refrigerador” by the press.
Gargiulo’s lawyers did not immediately respond to Reuters’ calls on Saturday, but Gargiulo upheld his plea of innocence during the trial.
Gargiulo was found guilty in 2001 of the murder of Ashley Ellerin, 22, a fashion student who was murdered in her Hollywood home while preparing to date Kutcher.
Kutcher, a former star of TV shows like “Two and a Half Men” and “That’s 70s Show,” testified in the 2019 trial that he was late for the date and that Ellerin didn’t answer the door.
Gargiulo was also convicted of stabbing to death Maria Bruno, 32, who was a neighbor of Gargiulo in El Monte, Calif., in 2005. He was arrested in 2008 when another victim, Michelle Murphy, then 26, defended herself and survived to the attack on his home in Santa Monica, California, according to the trial.
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta)
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