Ashton Kutcher kept his calm when he testified in the trial of a suspected serial killer who brutally stabbed a 22-year-old woman to death who had been dating the actor at the time.
The “That 70’s Show” star arrived at court Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court for the trial of Michael Gargiulo, who faces two counts of murder against two women, including Ashley Ellerin.
Ellerin, a fashion student and part-time stripper, had been casually dating Kutcher at the time and planned on attending a Grammy party on the night of Feb. 21, 2001.
After several unanswered phone calls, Kutcher went to Ellerin’s home and peered through a window to see, what he thought, were red wine stains. The 41-year-old actor believed he had been stood up and left.
What he didn’t know, is that Ellerin’s neighbor, Gargiulo, had snuck into her apartment and stabbed her 47 times. The “red wine stains” were later identified as pools of blood. Her body was discovered the next morning by a friend.
Kutcher wore a blue-grey suit when he entered the courtroom Wednesday morning and kept his cool while delivering testimony for around 30 minutes. He described Ellerin as a “casual acquaintance,” and said he had showed up to her house on the night of February 21 to take her on a date.
He said that when he got to the house he tried to “jiggle the doorknob,” and after realizing the door was locked peered through the window and observed the “stain.” As to why he wasn’t worried about anything, Kutcher claimed Ellerin recently had a housewarming party and thought it was normal that the house was messy.
Kutcher also admitted that he was very worried about his fingerprints on the doorknob, and explained to police why they would find his prints during the investigation.
While being asked questions by Gargiulo’s attorney, Kutcher said he did not recognize the defendant and didn’t see him at the housewarming party. At one point, Gargiulo’s attorney told Kutcher he was not a suspect, to which the actor scoffed and said, “Ya, thank you.”
The star finished up his testimony and left the courtroom shortly after. He is no longer expected to participate in the trial.
Kutcher, who is now married to actress Mila Kunis, is one of 100 witnesses scheduled to testify in the trial. Prosecutors have described Gargiulo as a “serial, psychosexual thrill killer,” and during the trial explained that Ellerin “had just exited the shower and was getting ready to go out with Mr. Kutcher when she was attacked from behind.”
Gargiulo is also charged with the 2005 stabbing death of a 32-year-old woman, and the 2008 attempted murder of another woman. Prosecutors allege he had a history of stalking and attacking women he lived near. They are seeking the death penalty.