LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A jury found a man nicknamed the “Hollywood Ripper” guilty on Thursday of knifing to death two women, including actor Ashton Kutcher’s date, and attempting to murder a third victim during a seven-year span.
Michael Gargiulo, a 43-year-old former handyman and aspiring actor, sat impassively, leaning forward slightly in his chair, as the jury verdict was read.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court panel will next consider whether Gargiulo was sane at the time of the crimes, in proceedings to begin on Tuesday.
Kutcher, the former star of TV shows “Two and a Half Men” and “That ‘70s Show” told the Los Angeles jury hearing the case in May he arrived at the Hollywood bungalow of one of the victims in 2001, after arranging a date with her, and found the lights on and the door locked.
Peering through a window in the home of the victim, fashion student Ashley Ellerin, the then 23-year-old Kutcher saw “what I thought was a red wine spilled on the carpet.”
Kutcher left and Ellerin, 22, was found dead at her home the next morning by a roommate. Gargiulo had broken into her place and repeatedly stabbed her, prosecutors said.