Survivor testifies before jury decides sentences for 'Hollywood Ripper' murderer originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
A man known as the "Hollywood Ripper" who was convicted of murdering two Los Angeles women and trying to kill a third will soon learn if he'll be sentenced to death for his crimes.
A jury is hearing penalty phase testimony before determining the fate of Michael Gargiulo.
Among those to testify was Michelle Murphy, who was 26 when she fought off a stabbing attack by Gargiulo, her neighbor, in her Santa Monica home in 2008.
"I was fighting with everything I had," Murphy told the jury on Tuesday, according to People magazine.
"In the days, weeks and months after it happened I barely even slept," Murphy said, according to People. "I feared the nighttime and going to bed…I still slept with the lights on for a long time."
Gargiulo, 43, was convicted in August after a trial that included testimony from Ashton Kutcher.
The actor had a date scheduled with 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin the day she was stabbed to death in her Hollywood Hills home in February 2001.
Kutcher testified that when he went to pick Ellerin up at her home that night there was no answer at the door.
The actor told the jury he looked through the window before he left and saw a "little bit of a mess" and what he thought was "red wine spilled on the carpet."
Prosecutors said that the red liquid Kutcher mistook for wine was actually Ellerin's blood.
Ellerin's mother, Cynthia Ellerin, testified Monday that when her husband told her their daughter had been killed, "I fell to my knees on the floor."
"I started crawling around the bedroom on my hands and knees like an animal, screaming," she testified, according to ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV.
Gargiulo was convicted of breaking into Ellerin's home and killing her. He was also found guilty of murdering and mutilating his 32-year-old neighbor, Maria Bruno, in 2005. Bruno, who was attacked while she slept, lived in the same apartment complex in El Monte as Gargiulo, according to Los Angeles County prosecutors.
Gargiulo was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and lying in wait, which makes him eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said. He was also convicted of one count of attempted murder and attempted escape, prosecutors said.
Gargiulo was also charged in the 1993 killing of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in the Chicago area, prosecutors said.
ABC News' Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.