MURRIETA, Calif. – Four Camp Pendleton-based Marines, including one known as "Psycho," have pleaded not guilty in the execution-style slayings of a fellow Marine and his wife.
The not guilty pleas were entered Thursday at Superior Court by Lance Cpl. Emrys John, 18, of Maryland; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20, of North Carolina; Pvt. Kevin Cox, 20, of Tennessee, and Lance Cpl. Kesaun Sykes, 21, of California.
John and Miller worked for Pietrzak, who was a helicopter airframe mechanic.
Miller, Cox and Sykes, known as "Psycho," told police they went to the home to rob Pietrzak. All four said his wife was sexually assaulted, according to an investigator's affidavit.
The Marines are charged with two counts of first-degree murder and special-circumstance allegations of committing multiple murders, committing the crime during a robbery and rape by instrument.
John, whom prosecutors believe shot the couple, is also charged with a special-circumstance allegation of using a firearm to inflict great bodily injury or death.
Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Another Version Of The Story:
Confession In Torture, Slay Of Brooklyn-Raised Marine Sergeant And Wife
They did it for the money.
The four Marines charged with murdering their Brooklyn-raised sergeant and his bride confessed they were looking for an easy score when they burst into the couple's California home with guns drawn, court papers revealed Thursday.
All of the suspects say that Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak was sexually assaulted, but each says it was the other three who did it, the papers say.
Shackled and dressed in prison orange, the Marines avoided looking at each other during their court appearance Thursday. They did not enter pleas.
"Chillin waitin 4 da killin," was the caption under a photo he posted before the newlyweds were executed on Oct. 15.
Elsewhere on the site, John - an admitted collector of knives and swords - wrote that "shooting s---" and "blowin s--- up" was a great "stress reliever."
Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20, of North Carolina, told cops he threatened Pietrzak with a shotgun to get into the house. He said he bound and gagged the couple and then debated with John whether to kill them.
On his MySpace page, Miller referred to himself as a "Cripgeneral." Investigators are now checking whether he had ties to the violent Crips street gang.
Pvt. Kesuan Sykes, 21, of California, is nicknamed "Psycho" and admitted that he "cut" off Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak's clothes, the court papers state.
Detectives found stolen items like Pietrzak's digital camera and his wife's engagement ring in the barracks, sources said.
Pietrzak, 24, was born in Poland, raised in Bensonhurst, and joined the Marines in 2003. Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, was black and from the San Diego area. They met at a party before Pietrzak was deployed to Iraq in July 2005.
"When he came back, she was there," his mother, Henryka Pietrzak-Varga said. "I accepted her like my daughter and her family accepted him like their son."
The grieving mother insisted again that robbery could not possibly be the motive. "I can't believe it's about money," she said.
With Kerry Burke and Veronika Belenkaya