Louis Perez, attorney Patton, Dorothy Maraglino, attorney Kinsey, Jessica Lopez, attorney Ostbye, June 5, 2015.
  • Louis Perez, attorney Patton, Dorothy Maraglino, attorney Kinsey, Jessica Lopez, attorney Ostbye, June 5, 2015.
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A superior court judge made decisions yesterday (June 5) regarding the admissibility of evidence that defense attorneys hoped to suppress in the upcoming trial for three persons accused of killing Brittany Killgore.

The naked body of the victim was found a few days after she was declared missing, in April of 2012. The murder trial is now set to begin in September 2015.

Defendants Louis Ray Perez, 47, Dorothy Maraglino, 40, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 28, all plead not guilty to kidnapping, torturing, and murdering 22-year-old Killgore.

Certain writings made by defendant Lopez, written in a kind of cryptic script or cipher, were characterized as fantasy writings by her attorney Sloan Ostbye. The decoded writings described torture and dismemberment, and the defense protested that the content is so gruesome that it causes prejudice toward her client.

Judge Kirkman didn't grant all the defense attorneys' requests.

Judge Kirkman didn't grant all the defense attorneys' requests.

Prosecutor Patrick Espinoza argued that the writings were created before Lopez came to live with her co-defendants, and thus shows that sexual violence did exist in her mind before she came under the influence of the others. Judge K. Michael Kirkman decided to allow that evidence, but with certain redactions because the content is so “disturbing.”

A seven-page handwritten document referred to as the “PIGS READ THIS note” was objected to by defense attorneys. The evidence was found in a hotel room with Lopez and was first thought to be a suicide note; some of the message attempted to put all the blame onto one defendant and exonerate the others; the document also described where investigators could find the victim’s body.

“It is a document that very much has relevance,” the judge stated, and he denied motions to suppress it.

The judge ordered certain text messages and emails between defendants Lopez and Maraglino to be excluded. In these communications, the women apparently joked about kidnapping Louis Perez to make him go to a movie with them; part of one message was said to include: “Ma’am maybe we stage a kidnapping ROTFL.”

Attorneys asked the judge to forbid the prosecutor from mentioning anything about the notorious Manson "family" — this because Espinoza did mention the hierarchy and dominance in that infamous group in his court papers; the judge granted that request.

Maraglino was present during the first two hours but was absent for the remainder of the daylong hearing. She has made requests on several occasions to be excused from sitting in the courtroom, and her attorney repeated that request today. Maraglino is currently represented by Jane Kinsey, the fourth defense attorney for Maraglino since she was arrested in 2012.

Espinoza has charged all three defendants with first-degree murder, plus special allegations of kidnap, torture, and conspiracy. Last December, San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis decided that all three defendants would be spared the possibility of the death penalty, should anyone eventually be found guilty.

Perez, who is advised by attorney Brad Patton, appeared today with full beard and glasses. During the past two years, Perez has kept his head lowered in court, looking down steadily at the tabletop in front of him. In contrast, during his first year of court appearances, Perez appeared more confident, perhaps even defiant.

Reportedly, defense attorneys have made requests to separate the defendants and hold three separate trials instead of one, but the judge has not addressed that request yet.

The next court date is set for June 26, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista, California.

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Comments

AlexClarke June 7, 2015 @ 5:46 a.m.

Prediction: They will all be convicted and sentenced to LWOP. They are just worthless human trash. NHI.

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Visduh June 7, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

But after years of maneuvering by the many defense attorneys and all the years of on again, off again, on again by the judge, it MIGHT go to trial this fall. Who is paying for all this legal effort? WE ARE. With no death penalty on the table now, all this effort to keep them alive is out of place. Conduct the trial, admit all the damning evidence, and let the chips fall as they may. Ahh, that's not the criminal "justice" system in the state and the nation today. I'm developing doubts about the stomach of this judge to try this case.

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Eva Knott July 9, 2015 @ 8:17 a.m.

After a hearing yesterday, July 8, 2015, the prosecutor released a statement. Deputy District Attorney Pat Espinoza stated that the judge ruled on several defense motions, including which of the awful evidence photos will be used during trial, and the limitations of BDSM evidence. Yesterday, honorable judge K. Michael Kirkman also denied defense attorneys' requests to "severance" the case into three different trials, one for each of the defendants. The next court date scheduled for this case is August 7.

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Eva Knott Aug. 27, 2015 @ 2:23 p.m.

A questionnaire to be filled out by potential jurors has been agreed upon by all attorneys and the judge, Honorable K. Michael Kirkman. Hundreds of potential jurors will be asked to answer the questionnaire on Thursday, September 3rd. And then the first batch of pre-screened jurors will be called into San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse, located in Vista California, on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. Those citizens will meet the judge and attorneys and defendants in this case, and will answer questions face-to-face with attorneys, in voir dire.

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