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Trial in military wife's strangulation set for Sept. 30.


Last updated 3/21/2013 at Noon

VISTA - A trial for a Camp Pendleton Marine and two women accused of murdering a military wife after she was forced to participate in a bondage and sadomasochistic sex ring was scheduled today to begin Sept. 30 in Vista.

Judge K. Michael Kirkman also scheduled a hearing for this upcoming Tuesday on a motion over whether prosecutors in the case of Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Maraglino, 37, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Lopez will be allowed to view certain documents that are currently sealed.

The judge ordered the three defendants to trial on Monday following an often-lurid six-day preliminary hearing regarding the death of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore. Her body was found near Lake Skinner last April 17, four days after she agreed to go on a dinner cruise with Perez.

The defendants face charges of murder, torture, conspiracy, attempted sexual battery and kidnapping.

A deputy medical examiner testified that Killgore was strangled with some sort of ligature before being dumped near the Riverside County lake. The victim also had a deep cut from a saw below her left knee, suggesting attempted dismemberment after she died, Dr. Craig Nelson testified.

Killgore had just filed for divorce from her Marine husband -- who was deployed to Afghanistan at the time -- and was preparing to move back to Pennsylvania. Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore was cleared of any wrongdoing in his wife's death.

The victim's best friend said she and Killgore became acquainted with the defendants in 2011 but never participated in their alternative lifestyle.

Another friend testified that Killgore texted the word ''help'' shortly after leaving with Perez, who told the friend in a subsequent phone call that he dropped Killgore at a bar and saw her go off with ''two guys.''

Perez allegedly took Killgore to Maraglino's home in Fallbrook, where authorities said they found ropes, whips, a Taser, a nightstick, spiked gloves and a ''sex dungeon.''

All three defendants were involved in sexual behavior that included bondage, torture and master, servant and slave role-playing, and Killgore was an ''unwilling participant'' in those activities, sheriff's detective Susan Fiske alleged in search warrant affidavits.

A document written by Maraglino and found during a search of her Fallbrook home indicated she was a ''willing participant'' in whipping, beating and asphyxiation and any ''loss of life should be considered an accident,'' sheriff's Detective Brian Patterson testified today.

In another letter, Maraglino wrote of a fantasy in which a person's throat is slit from behind, Patterson testified.

The judge also scheduled a status conference for May 10.


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