Ashton Kutcher will take the stand against alleged serial killer Michael Gargiulo. Gargiulo is accused of viscously murdering three women, one of whom was Kutcher’s friend, Ashley Ellerin.
Kutcher, who is scheduled to testify on Wednesday, had plans to pick Ellerin up at her Hollywood home on February 21, 2001, and attend a post-Grammy party together. Kutcher has said he called Ellerin on the phone but didn’t get an answer, after which he says he drove to her home and knocked on the door, without answer. Kutcher told police he thought Ellerin was mad at him and “brushed him off,” according to The Washington Post.
Before Kutcher left, he took a peek inside Ellerin’s home and saw what he thought were red wine stains on the carpet.
Kutcher would later find out that those stains were actually blood. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon said during the trial’s opening statements that Gargiulo snuck into Ellerin’s home and stabbed her 47 times, according to People.
“We believe she had just exited the shower and was getting ready to go out with Mr. Kutcher when she was attacked from behind.”
Ellerin’s roommate reportedly found her body the next morning.
Kutcher’s testimony is only expected to last a few minutes, according to CBS News, but it is the first time the actor has spoken publicly about that night. Kutcher, who is now married to Mila Kunis, is one of more than 100 witnesses scheduled to testify in the trial that’s been dubbed the “Hollywood Ripper Trial.”
Between 1993 and 2008, Gargiulo allegedly preyed on women, sometimes using his job as an air-conditioning repairman to get inside homes where he allegedly waited to ambush women. Prosecutor Daniel Akemon described the alleged killer’s tactics in court, per The Washington Post.
“What you will hear is that Michael Gargiulo, for almost 15 years, was watching, always watching. And his hobby was plotting the perfect opportunity to attack women with a knife in and around their homes.”
Cathy Russon, an executive trial producer, is following the case and posting updates via Instagram, including this image of Ellerin.
Prosecutors say all of the victims lived near Gargiulo’s home. Ellerin lived just a block away. Friends told police that Gargiulo first met Ellerin outside of her home and offered to change a flat tire for her. After that, friends say Gargiulo showed up unannounced and even sat outside of Ellerin’s house at odd hours, according to People.
Gargiulo is also charged with a 2005 murder of Maria Bruno, 32, the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy, who was stabbed in 2008, and the murder of an 18-year-old woman who was stabbed to death in 1993.
Gargiulo’s attorneys deny he has killed anyone, CBS News reported.