Ashton Kutcher Testifies Against So-Called 'Hollywood Ripper' Accused of Murdering His Friend
Actor Ashton Kutcher took the stand Wednesday in the trial of so-called “Hollywood Ripper” Michael Gargiulo, who allegedly murdered Kutcher's friend Ashley Ellerin in 2001.
Ashton and Ashley were set to attend a Grammy party in L.A. together the night she was killed.
Prosecutors believe that Gargiulo stabbed the 22-year old 47 times while she was getting ready for the party. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to People, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon told the courtroom during the trial's opening statements, “We believe she had just exited the shower and was getting ready to go out with Mr. Kutcher when she was attacked from behind.”
Kutcher gave his account to the court on Wednesday morning, and Nathan Solis of Courthouse News live tweeted his testimony.
The star explained that they weren't dating, but this was to be their first date.
The original plan was to go out to dinner before the party, but he was at a friend's house watching the Grammys and was running late.
AL SEIB/LA TIMES POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/Rex
They decided to grab drinks instead. The last time he spoke with her was around 8:30 p.m. He left a few messages afterward, explaining, “I was trying to take her on a date and didn't want to seem eager."
When Kutcher stopped by her home, he peered through the window and saw red wine stains on the floor. "It was not alarming to me," he said, explaining he had attended a party there in the past. He did try the door and told the court, "I remember the next day, after I heard about what happened, and I went to the detectives and said, 'My fingerprints were on the door,' and I was freaking out.”
CBS News reports Ashley's body was discovered by her roommate the next day.
According to People, Gargiulo lived in Ellerin's neighborhood and offered to help her fix a tire outside her home in 2000. He was a 24-year-old air-conditioning repairman and former bouncer at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, while she was a part-time stripper and fashion student.
Friends later told police that Gargiulo would show up to her home uninvited or park outside.
Gargiulo is a suspected serial killer and is also charged with the 2005 murder of 32-year-old Maria Bruno and the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy in 2008.
He will then face a murder charge in Illinois for the 1993 death of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio.