Opening statements are slated to begin Monday in the trial of three of four former U.S. Marines charged with the 2008 murders of another Marine and his wife in their French Valley home.
Kevin Cox, 25, Emrys John, 23, and Tyrone Miller, 25, have each been charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances including murder during the commission of a burglary, robbery and rape by instrument, as well as double murder.
Nearly five years ago—in October 2008—Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, were found brutally murdered in their home in French Valley, in the unincorporated area of Winchester near Murrieta.
Both victims were found bound and had been shot in the head, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office about the upcoming trial proceedings.
Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach is seeking the death penalty for the trio, as well as for a fourth defendant, Kesaun Sykes.
Sykes' case has been severed from the others——and has a trial readiness conference scheduled for Aug. 2 for his separate trial.
Defendants Cox, John, and Miller all worked with Sgt. Pietrzak at one time as Marines while stationed at Camp Pendleton, according to the statement sent by John Hall, spokesperson for the DA's office.
"It is believed that all four defendants went to the home to rob the victims, forced their way inside, and then physically assaulted Pietrzak, sexually assaulted Jenkins-Pietrzak, and murdered both victims," Hall stated.
The trial is being held at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel DeLimon of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case.