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Former Marine gets 51 years for slaying of Navy veteran


Last updated 7/9/2018 at 3:39pm

FALLBROOK – Former Camp Pendleton Marine Cpl. Kevin Albert Richard Coset, who admitted to killing Navy veteran and Army reservist Alvin Bulaoro in a Fallbrook hotel in 2012, was sentenced June 15, to 51 years to life in prison.

Coset, in March, pleaded guilty to murder and allegations he used a gun and a knife to take the life of Bulaoro, who was stabbed 44 times and shot twice in the head. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a special circumstance allegation that could have sent Coset to prison for life without parole.

Coset and 24-year-old Bulaoro were allegedly involved in a sexual relationship. Bulaoro was last seen Dec. 21, 2012, and reported missing by his family Dec. 23, 2012.

Bulaoro’s body was found Jan. 3, 2013, in the backseat of his 1997 Toyota 4Runner, which was parked in the Albertsons grocery store lot, near the corner of Ammunition Road and South Mission Road. Bulaoro’s body was zipped up in a sleeping bag, and his throat was slit almost ear-to-ear.

Detectives said Coset purchased a “pay-as-you-go” phone Dec. 19, 2012, and used it to call Bulaoro and send him 29 text messages between Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, the day Bulaoro was last seen. Investigators noted that Coset’s number was one of the last numbers Bulaoro had contacted.

Detectives said the sleeping bag Bulaoro was found in was a style sold on base at Camp Pendleton, and someone had used a credit card to purchase one on base in the hours before Bulaoro disappeared. They later identified the buyer as Coset.

Coset used the same credit card later that day to pay for a Fallbrook motel room. It had an additional $100 charge for damages including a missing comforter and a large pool of blood, which was later identified as Bulaoro’s.

Though the room had been cleaned in the weeks since the attack, detectives found Bulaoro’s blood under the carpet and on the padding. It was also on the walls, ceiling and furniture, according to court documents.

Coset, then a 23-year-old Marine corporal, was arrested Feb. 22, 2013, outside his barracks at Camp Pendleton. Sheriff's investigators found the gun used in the attack on Bulaoro in Coset’s car, and they also found – in his room – a journal in which Coset had written about the killing of Bulaoro.

Bulaoro was working as an administrator in a family-owned home healthcare business at the time of his death.


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