Killgore murder-torture trial underway Monday

Posted at 11:01 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 02:01:13-04

A former Camp Pendleton Marine duped a military wife into thinking they were going on a dinner cruise, then struck the victim with a stun baton before taking her to a home in Fallbrook where she was caught up in a
sadomasochistic sex ring and was tortured and strangled to death, a prosecutor alleged Monday.

Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza told a jury in the trial of Louis Ray Perez, 49, Dorothy Maraglino, 40, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 28, that Perez abducted 22-year-old Brittany Killgore the night of April 13, 2012.

Investigators said Killgore had just filed for divorce from her Marine husband, who was deployed to Afghanistan, when she was lured to a meeting with Perez. Her body was found four days later near Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

The defendants -- charged with murder, torture, conspiracy and other charges -- face life in prison if convicted.

According to the prosecutor, a stun baton found in the back of Perez's SUV had the victim's DNA on it. A plastic sheet in the back of Perez's car also had the victim's blood on it, Espinoza told the jury.

Lopez's attorney, Sloan Ostbye, told jurors that her client was a victim to a "slave" contract she entered into with Maraglino in the bondage and sadomasochistic world. Ostbye presented Lopez as a patsy, an abused servant forced to take the blame for a crime she did not commit.

"She was known as 'money bitch,"' Ostbye said. "Her role was not unsimilar (sic) to that of a dog."

Perez's attorney, Brad Patton, told the jury that Lopez committed the murder.

In 2011, he said, Lopez was heartbroken when another woman came between Perez and Maraglino, who were in an open relationship at the time.

Maraglino's attorney, Jane Kinsey, told the jury that her client had abandoned her BD/SM lifestyle while she was pregnant with Perez's child and that her only mistake was to participate in the cover-up.

"The only crime she is guilty of is lying for someone she loves," Kinsey said.

The trial continues on Tuesday.