Ex-Marine Sentenced to Death in Murders of Newlywed Sergeant, Wife

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A 27-year-old man was sentenced to death Friday for the 2008 murders of a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant and his wife in their new home near Murrieta.

Kesaun Sykes appeared in court on July 21, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Kesaun Sykes appeared in court on July 21, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Kesaun Kedron Sykes was convicted on Aug. 5 of two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak.

The newlyweds were found bound and gagged inside their home in the unincorporated area of Winchester/French Valley in October 2008.

Both had been shot in the head execution-style, prosecutors said.

Evidence presented at trial showed Jenkins-Pietrzak was also raped before the couple’s townhouse was set on fire in an apparent effort to destroy evidence.

Sykes was the fourth and final man to be convicted of the Pietrzak murders, according to a news release from the Riverside County District attorney’s Office.

His accomplices, Kevin Cox, Emrys John and Tyrone Miller were each convicted in 2013 in connection with the crime, the release stated.


Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife Quianna Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26 seen in a photo provided by family members.

John and Miller also received the death penalty, while Cox was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cox, John, and Miller all worked with Sgt. Pietrzak at one time as Marines while stationed at Camp Pendleton, according to the DA’s Office.

During the trial prosecutors alleged that Cox, John, Miller and Sykes went to the Pietrzak home to rob the couple and then forced their way inside.

Pietrzak, an Iraq war veteran, was stationed at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

His wife was a counselor with a Riverside County infant care program.

They had been married for only 68 days.

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