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Trial Ordered for Marine, Two Women Accused in Military Wife's Strangulation

Vista Judge K. Michael Kirkman found that enough evidence was presented for Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Maraglino, 37, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Lopez to proceed to trial.

A Camp Pendleton Marine and two women were ordered Monday to stand trial on murder, torture and other charges stemming from the death of a military wife from Fallbrook, who authorities say was killed after being kidnapped and forced to participate in a bondage and sadomasochistic sex ring.

After a six-day preliminary hearing, Vista Judge K. Michael Kirkman found that enough evidence was presented for Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Maraglino, 37, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Lopez to proceed to trial.

In addition to murder and torture, the defendants are charged with conspiracy, attempted sexual battery and kidnapping.

Brittany Killgore's body was found near Lake Skinner last April 17, four days after the 22-year-old victim agreed to go on a dinner cruise with Perez.

A deputy medical examiner testified that Killgore was strangled with some sort of ligature before being dumped near the Riverside County lake. The victim also had a deep cut from a saw below her left knee, suggesting attempted dismemberment after she died, Dr. Craig Nelson testified.

Killgore had just filed for divorce from her Marine husband --  who was deployed to Afghanistan at the time -- and was preparing to move back to Pennsylvania. Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore was cleared of any wrongdoing in his wife's death.

The victim's best friend said she and Killgore became acquainted with the defendants in 2011 but never participated in their alternative lifestyle.

Another friend testified that Killgore texted the word "help" shortly after leaving with Perez, who told the friend in a subsequent phone call that he dropped Killgore at a bar and saw her go off with "two guys."

Perez allegedly took Killgore to Maraglino's home in Fallbrook, where authorities said they found ropes, whips, a Taser, a nightstick, spiked gloves and a "sex dungeon."

All three defendants were involved in sexual behavior that included bondage, torture and master, servant and slave role-playing, and Killgore was an "unwilling participant" in those activities, sheriff's detective Susan Fiske alleged in search warrant affidavits.

A document written by Maraglino and found during a search of her Fallbrook home indicated she was a "willing participant" in whipping, beating and asphyxiation and any "loss of life should be considered an accident," sheriff's Detective Brian Patterson testified today.

In another letter, Maraglino wrote of a fantasy in which a person's throat is slit from behind, Patterson testified.

A status conference is scheduled Thursday in Kirkman's courtroom.

-City News Service

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