Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Prosecutor: Marine admitted killing in his handwritten journal
“Murder is justice” written on the first page
Investigators found a composition notebook labeled “personal journal of Kevin Coset” and on the first handwritten page the writer specifically admitted killing Alvin Bulaoro, according to evidence presented in San Diego’s North County Courthouse today.
NCIS special agent Jason Keller testified that he used a “bolt cutter” to remove padlocks on drawers underneath Kevin Coset’s bed, in his barracks room on Camp Pendleton. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent said he found the journal, with 46 handwritten pages, inside the drawers.
Prosecutor Stephen Marquardt asked the agent to read aloud the first page of the journal, which was dated December 21, 2012. The witness read to the court: “Tonight I had to kill for the third time.” The writer specifically named Alvin Bulaoro as the person he killed, and the short section finished with “Murder is justice.”
The prosecutor presented this timeline in a day-long preliminary hearing today, March 25, 2013:
December 19, 2012, someone used Kevin Coset’s credit card to buy a pay-as-you-go cell phone from a Radio Shack on Mission Avenue in Oceanside.
December 20, 2012, after 7 p.m., that cell phone exchanged more than twenty text messages with Alvin Bulaoro’s cell phone.
December 21 2012, at 7:27 p.m., someone used Kevin Coset’s credit card to buy a sleeping bag at a store on Camp Pendleton.
December 21 2012, at 8:06 p.m., someone used Kevin Coset’s credit card to rent a hotel room a half-mile from the Alberston’s shopping center in Fallbrook. A DNA expert testified that Alvin Bulaoro’s blood was later found in that hotel room.
December 21 2012, at 8:41 p.m., surveillance video showed somebody getting out of their dark sedan and into Alvin Bulaoro’s SUV, which had just pulled into the parking lot at the Fallbrook grocery store, and then they drove off.
December 21 2012, at 11:30 p.m., surveillance video showed that somebody drove Alvin Bulaoro’s SUV back to the grocery parking lot, left the SUV there and got into the dark sedan and drove away.
Investigators said Alvin Bulaoro’s SUV never left the parking lot after it was abandoned there late December 21. Bulaoro’s family declared Alvin missing on December 23, and then they noticed his car parked at the local grocery store on January 3, 2013. Sheriff’s investigators found Alvin Bulaoro’s body zipped up into a sleeping bag in the backseat area of his own SUV.
Pathologist Dr. Craig Nelson said Bulaoro suffered 44 stab wounds, plus two gunshots to the back of his head.
The prosecutor is charging Coset with first degree murder, use of a knife and firearm, and the special circumstance of “lying in wait,” which could make Coset eligible for the death penalty.
Kevin Albert Richard Coset, 23, a Corporal with the Marines, pleads not guilty to the murder of Alvin Bulaoro, 24, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
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