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Various Authors 4:09 p.m., May 27
An attorney prosecuting the Brittany Killgore murder case has taken another step toward the death penalty, when he filed new paperwork in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse yesterday, May 10, 2013.
Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza is now alleging the “special circumstance” of murder-during-kidnap, against all three defendants in the case.
Louis Ray Perez, 46, and Dorothy Maraglino, 38, and Jessica Lopez, 26, all plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy and kidnap and torture and murder.
Brittany Dawn Killgore was last seen the night of Friday the 13th of April, 2012, reportedly getting into a car with Louis Ray Perez. The woman’s abused body was found four days later, dumped in the dirt alongside a road in a neighboring county.
Brittany Killgore, 22, was married to a Marine deployed to Afghanistan at the time she disappeared, and defendant Louis Perez was an active-duty Marine when he was arrested. Those facts, and the prosecutor’s assertion that the beautiful victim was targeted as part of a sado-masochistic fantasy, has made the case a sensation in San Diego County and beyond.
The new, “special circumstance” charge means all three defendants could face the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole, the prosecutor said.
In San Diego County, protocol for deciding whether or not to seek the death penalty includes meetings between District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and defense attorneys, and perhaps other interested parties, such as the family of the victim.
An announcement of whether the death penalty is being pursued could happen at the next court appearance for all three defendants, now set for July 10, 2012.