Earlier this month, two separate Riverside County, Calif., juries found three ex-Marines guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 slayings of Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak (pictured), 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak (pictured), 26.
The defendants who took part in the brutal murders are 25-year-old Kevin Cox, 25-year-old Tyrone Miller and 23-year-old Emrys John. A fourth man charged with the murders, 21-year-old Kesaun Sykes, will stand trial in August.
The penalty phase of the trial began on Monday for Cox, Miller and John. Four days later, the jury handed down a death sentence recommendation for John and Miller who were convicted of first-degree murder and a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Cox, reports the New York Daily News.
The Pietrzaks, who had been only married three months at the time of their murders, were an interracial couple. According to court documents, the four suspects stormed the couple’s Riverside, Calif., home at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2008 and proceeded to terrorize them for nearly two hours before fatally shooting them.
Police investigators discovered Pietrzak’s body hog-tied, bloodied and badly beaten. Quiana, who had been studying to become a doctor, had been savagely raped by the men with a pink vibrator while her husband was forced to watch. According to authorities the racist phrase “N—-r Lover” was scrawled on the walls of the couple’s home.
The four former Marines then attempted to destroy any evidence by setting the couple’s five bedroom home ablaze, as they fled the premises with jewelry, bank cards and even juice from the refrigerator.
Ironically, John, Miller and Cox had worked with Pietrzak at one time while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Lawyers for the defendants, John, Miller and Cox, have requested a new trial; all three will formally be sentenced by a Riverside County judge later this summer.