ASHTON Kutcher broke down in court and admitted he was “hours” late picking his girlfriend Ashley Ellerin up for a date who had been brutally stabbed to death by the Hollywood Ripper.
The former Two and a Half Men star was testifying as a witness at the trial of a man dubbed the Hollywood Ripper who is charged with the murder of the young woman and two others.
Ashton Kutcher said he arrived at the Hollywood bungalow of fashion design student Ashley Ellerin on the night of February 22, 2001, after speaking to her by phone earlier that evening to arrange a date.
But when he got there two hours after the call, Kutcher said he found the lights on and the door locked.
Peering through the window he saw “what I thought was a red wine spilled on the carpet.”
“I didn’t really think anything of it,” Kutcher said, adding that he “figured I screwed up” by showing up late, and he assumed Ellerin had gone out with a friend.
Ellerin, 22, was found dead at her home the next morning by a roommate.
She had been stabbed 47 times, prosecutors said.
Some wounds were six inches deep, on her neck, chest, stomach and back while she had been taking a shower.
Kutcher, now 41, said when he learned what had happened to Ellerin, he spoke with police and was “freaking out” because he knew his fingerprints would be on the front door of her home.
Married plumber Michael Gargiulo, 43, is on trial at Los Angeles Superior Court for the murder of Ellerin and two other women Tricia Pacaccio and Maria Bruno as well as the attempted murder of another, Michelle Murphy, now 37.
Gargiulo was arrested in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty.
In a previous hearing in the case District Attorney Dan Akemon told the jury that Gargiulo
had led a “double life” as a killer.
He said: “What you will hear is that Michael Gargiulo for almost 15 years was watching and waiting.
“His hobby was to wait for the perfect opportunity to attack women in and around their homes.
‘I SCREWED UP’
“Ashley Ellerin led a glamorous life. She was a beautiful 22-year-old fashion student who socialised with the Hollywood crowd.”
Akemon described Gargiulo as “the boy next door killer,” saying his crimes involved the “methodical and systematic slaughter of women”.
He added at the time: “His hobby was plotting the perfect opportunity to attack women with a knife in and around their homes.”
Gargiulo’s defence lawyer Dan Nardoni has previously claimed in court that Ashley had “consensual sex” with another man hours before she was brutally murdered.
Who is Michael Gargiulo, accused of being the Hollywood Ripper?
Michael Gargiulo, 43, is a married plumber who is currently on trial in Los Angeles accused of being the serial killer known as the Hollywood Ripper.
He is accused of killing three women between 1993 and 2008 and the attempted murder of another woman in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008.
It is claimed Gargiulo stalked his victims before attacking them.
District Attorney Dan Akemon told the jury that Gargiulo had led a “double life” as a killer and a husband.
He described Gargiulo as “the boy next door killer,” saying his crimes involved the “methodical and systematic slaughter of women”.
Along with being accused of killing Ashley Ellerin is also accused f murdering his 18-year-old neighbour Tricia Pacaccio in August 1993 in Glenview, Illinois.
In December 2005 he allegedly stabbed his 32-year-old neighbour Maria Bruno to death at her home in El Monte, California.
Michelle Murphy, now 37, is thought to be the only woman to have survived an attack by the Hollywood Ripper.
She was woken by a hooded attacker who straddled, ambushed and repeatedly stabbed her with a serrated knife in her Santa Monica apartment in April 2008.
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He said she had sex with her apartment manager Mark Durban just hours before Kutcher was due to pick her up from her apartment.
In 2001, Kutcher was making his name as one of the stars of the television comedy “That ’70s Show.” Ten years later he was cast in the hit comedy “Two and a Half Men.”
In 2005, Kutcher married actress Demi Moore. After their 2013 divorce, he wed Mila Kunis and they now have two kids.
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