Tuesday, May 15, 2012
A woman accused of involvement in the death of a 22-year-old military wife in Fallbrook last month pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.
Dorothy Maraglino, 36, is the third person arrested and charged in the death of Brittany Killgore. The other defendants are Jessica Lynn Lopez Lopez, 25, and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 45.
Lopez and Perez listed their residence as the home in Fallbrook that Maraglino owned.
All three defendants face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
"The victim in this case, Brittany Killgore, was an innocent victim who had no connection to these individuals other than she, at one earlier point in time, accompanied her friend to this home, the home of Ms. Maraglino, to purchase an item that was for sale online,'' Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza said outside court.
The night she was killed, April 13, Killgore was lured by Maraglino to go on a supposed dinner cruise in San Diego with Perez, the prosecutor said.
Killgore was initially unwilling to go and was concerned because of previous ill-will directed toward her by Maraglino, Espinoza said outside court.
Killgore was assured by Maraglino that it was OK for her to go with Perez on the supposed cruise and Perez picked up Killgore.
Shortly after she was picked up, the victim texted the word "Help'' to a friend, Espinoza told reporters.
Perez then texted Maraglino, telling her to come to the Fallbrook residence, according to the prosecutor.
"That is the location that the investigation revealed information that the killing took place,'' Espinoza said. Without being specific, the prosecutor said Killgore was a victim of "homicidal violence.''
When contacted, Perez said he had dropped off Killgore in downtown San Diego, when in fact he had been in Fallbrook at the time in question, Espinoza said.
During a search of Perez's vehicle, detectives found the victim's blood and a weapon, according to the prosecutor.
Lopez was arrested April 17 after police found her with self-inflicted wounds in a San Diego hotel room.
Killgore had filed for divorce from her Marine husband several days before her death. The husband, Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore, was serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan at the time and has not been implicated in her death.
A preliminary hearing was set for May 30 but was likely to be postponed, defense attorney Sean Leslie said.