Monstrous monsters sent to jail forever

Two killers of Brittany Killgore get life in prison without parole

Louis Ray Perez, aka Master Ivan, looked at the judge while he pronounced sentence.
  • Louis Ray Perez, aka Master Ivan, looked at the judge while he pronounced sentence.

A judge in North County sentenced two people to life in prison without possibility of parole on November 19.

Louis Ray Perez, 49, and Dorothy Grace Marie Maraglino, 40, were both declared guilty of the kidnap, torture, and murder of Brittany Killgore in April of 2012.

Jessica Lynn Lopez

Jessica Lynn Lopez

Patrick Espinoza

Patrick Espinoza

K. Michael Kirkman

K. Michael Kirkman

Dorothy Maraglino seemed startled at comments

Dorothy Maraglino seemed startled at comments

A third defendant, Jessica Lynn Lopez, 28, was also found guilty at the conclusion of the same trial, however, her attorney asked for a delay in her sentencing so that she could file motions.

When asked after the hearing, Lopez attorney Sloan Ostbye declined to state exactly what motions she expected to file. The next hearing for Lopez is set for January 15, 2016.

Many of the jurors and alternates who heard the evidence came back to San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse for the sentencing. The trial began in September.

Before sentencing was announced, convicted murderer Perez read a prepared statement to the court. For approximately two minutes he expressed thanks to unnamed family and supporters, and said he was grateful for prayers. In the last few moments of his remarks, he declared that the last portion was directed at prosecutor Patrick Espinoza and the judge, K. Michael Kirkman. Perez then read a passage from the Bible, “Lamentations 34, to crush under one’s feet the prisoners of the earth, to deny a man justice in the presence of the Most High, to subvert a man in his trial, the Lord does not approve.”

A person from the district attorney’s office read statements from the family of Brittany Killgore, who was 22 when she was murdered three and a half years ago. Those family members did not travel to California for the sentencing.

Part of the statement from Michelle Wrest, Killgore’s mother, fumed over the three defendants pointing fingers at each other, blaming the other, during trial. “As if they are victims!” The bereaved mother was present in court during the weeks of trial; she watched and listened to Perez as he gave testimony in the witness box for two days. Wrest declared them all “Liars!” and expressed amazement that they had tears for each other and for themselves “but none for Brittany!”

“I will never get over my daughter’s brutal murder,” Wrest declared. “I am glad the three monsters responsible will spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

Brittany Dawn Killgore

Brittany Dawn Killgore

In the last part of her statement, Wrest directed comment toward Dorothy Maraglino, asking, “Was it worth it? Was it worth taking my daughter’s life and losing your daughter?” This seemed to catch Maraglino by surprise: her expression changed and she looked startled. Wrest continued, “ I hope each day in prison is miserable until you draw your last breath.” And her last comment was: “May God grant you forgiveness because I cannot.”

A statement from Killgore’s nine-year-old brother was read: “I miss her and I want her back.” He remembered that his sister used to play video games with him.

Killgore’s father, Darryl Wrest, commented on the “Monstrous disregard for humanity and God’s creation” shown by the killers.

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At her sentencing hearing January 8, 2016, Jessica Lynn Lopez was sentenced to two Life terms in prison, without possibility of parole, for her part in the kidnap and torture and murder.

The attorney for Jessica Lynn Lopez had previously asked the judge to delay sentencing so she could file motions asking for a new trial. Attorney Sloan Ostbye suggested that the court made a mistake by allowing the attorney for co-defendant Louis Ray Perez to produce a certain mental health expert as witness; this expert gave testimony during trial last September, and gave expert opinion regarding Jessica Lynn Lopez. Ostbye complained of that expert, “He never interviewed my client” and she asserted that he influenced the jury to believe that Lopez was mentally ill and “could have committed this heinous act.”

Before the judge announced sentence, he heard victim impact statements from the brother and parents of the murdered woman. Brittany Killgore’s younger brother, who was 5 years old at the time of her death, told the court: “The people who hurt Brittany are bad and I hope they stay in prison forever.”

Robert Scott Lopez, who is the father of convicted murderer Jessica Lynn Lopez, submitted a written “impact statement,” this was read in court by attorney Ostbye. Mr. Lopez first expressed “deepest condolences” to the family of Brittany Killgore and stated “I hope you find peace somehow, with the help of the Lord.” He told the court that Jessica Lopez was the eldest of his four daughters and “She was a wonderful baby.” In the statement, which took about 8 minutes to read, Mr. Lopez recalled moments of Jessica’s childhood, and declared that she “did not get into tobacco or drugs or sex” the way other young people did. The man wanted the court to know that his children went to Sunday school to learn about God. He expressed pride that his eldest daughter went to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in 2011, and he stated that he and his own father both hoped to have Jessica Lopez with them, to care for them, as they grew older.

Mr. Lopez declared: “To see Jessica in her current predicament makes me very sad.” In the last pages of his remarks the father repeatedly asserted that his family was her “one true, unconditional family.” While her attorney was reading the pages in court, Jessica Lopez sat next to her and watched attentively. Near the end of the statement Lopez became tearful and tried to wipe her eyes with her shackled hands. Lopez was dressed in green jail clothing, with her ankles chained together and her hands cuffed to the chain around her waist, at her sides.

After San Diego Superior Court judge K. Michael Kirkman solemnly announced the two life sentences for Jessica Lopez, a probation officer informed him that Lopez has been in custody 1362 days so far.

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