Murder trial postponed, death penalty considered

VISTA — The trial date for three North County residents charged with the murder of Brittany Dawn Killgore has been postponed as district attorneys consider asking for the death penalty. 

Killgore, a 22-year-old wife of a Marine, was last seen on April 13, 2012.

Her body was found on April 17, 2012 near Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, Dorothy Gracemarie Maraglino, 37, and Louis Ray Perez, 46, have been charged with her murder.

Killgore is believed to have been planning on attending a dinner cruise with Perez, a Marine, the night she disappeared.

During the preliminary examination of the case, witnesses testified that the defendants practiced bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism sexual activity.

All of the defendants were present with their attorneys at the Vista Courthouse on July 10 for a readiness conference preparing for their upcoming trial.

During the conference, the judge and both parties agreed to vacate their previous September 2013 trial date to allow the district attorneys prosecuting the case ample time to ascertain whether they will ask for the death penalty for any of the three defendants.

“If the people are going to seek the death penalty, then a much more protracted trial date would be required,” said Judge K. Michael Kirkman, who is presiding over the case.

All three defendants agreed to give up their rights to a speedy trial and Kirkman set the next status hearing for Nov. 14.

Also during the conference, Kirkman ruled that some ciphered writing found in Lopez’s cell was written for her defense attorney and therefore subject to attorney client privilege.

As such, Lopez’s writing, the contents of which were not revealed, was ordered sealed to the prosecution and the public.

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