Jury to Decide on Death Sentence for Convicted ‘Hollywood Ripper’

Michael Gargiulo listens during closing statements in his capital murder trial in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 6, 2019. (Credit: Lucy Nicholson / AFP / Getty Images)

Michael Gargiulo listens during closing statements in his capital murder trial in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 6, 2019. (Credit: Lucy Nicholson / AFP / Getty Images)

A Los Angeles jury has started deliberating whether a man prosecutors have dubbed “The Boy Next Door Killer” will get a sentence of death or life in prison for the killings of two women and the attempted murder of a third.

Closing arguments ended Wednesday in the penalty phase of the trial of 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo.

The jury in August convicted Gargiulo of the killings including the 2001 murder of Ashley Ellerin on a night she was to go out with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified at the trial.

Surviving victim Michelle Murphy testified during the penalty phase that for years she lived in fear after the attack.

Gargiulo’s 16-year-old son also took the stand during the penalty phase and asked that jurors spare his father’s life.

Prosecutors assigned Gargiulo the “Boy Next Door Killer” moniker because he lived near all the victims. He was also widely known in the media as the “Hollywood Ripper.”

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