Crime

Trio Accused Of Torturing And Murdering Marine Wife Will Not Receive The Death Penalty

| by James Brannigan
Lance Cpl Cory Killgore and wife Brittany KillgoreLance Cpl Cory Killgore and wife Brittany Killgore

A San Diego jury found a man and two women accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a Marine wife in 2012 guilty of all but one charge on Oct. 21.

Former Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 49; Dorothy Maraglino, 40; and Jessica Lopez, 28, were convicted in the killing of Brittany Killgore, 22. A jury found all three guilty of murder, kidnapping, torture and sexual battery, NBC San Diego reports. A charge against Lopez of conspiracy to kidnap was dropped.

Killgore, wife of Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore, was last seen on April 13, 2012. Four days after she was declared missing, her naked and strangled body was found in a ravine in Riverside, California.

Killgore had met the trio when she and a friend went to buy an item that was being sold online, according to the Daily Mail. She later texted Perez asking if he knew anyone who could help her move.

"Party with me tonight & you'll have five guys there in the morning," Perez reportedly wrote in a text message to Killgore. It is not known whether Killgore took him up on the offer.

Prosecutors say Perez, Maraglino and Lopez kidnapped Killgore and made her an unwilling participant in their sexual activities. Her last text message, to a friend, simply read, "Help."

When police arrived at the trio's home in Fallbrook, California, they discovered sex toys, whips, ropes, spiked collars and a Taser, among other items, NBC San Diego reports. Defense attorneys said Perez, Maraglino and Lopez involved in a BDSM lifestyle. 

The trio allegedly engaged in master/slave role-playing with Perez serving as the master, according to the Daily Mail. Some of the activities they performed involved playing with needles, knives and ropes, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

Detectives who searched Perez's Ford Explorer, which was caked in mud, found a stun gun, latex gloves -- and Killgore's blood, according to the Daily Mail. Perez's DNA was found on the weapon. He was arrested in April 2012.

Later that month, Lopez was arrested after detectives found her in a San Diego hotel room with self-inflicted cuts and a suicide note, in which she claimed full responsibility for Killgore's death.

The San Diego District Attorney's office announced in December 2014 that the trio would not face the death penalty, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Each defendant faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Sentencing is set for Nov. 19, NBC San Diego reports.

Source: Daily Mail, San Diego Tribune, NBC San Diego / Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail