Updated at 3:35 p.m. Aug. 16:
Two former Marines who took part in the killing of a Marine sergeant and his bride during a home-invasion robbery at the couple's French Valley home were sentenced today, one to death and the other to a no- parole life prison term.
The triggerman, Emrys Justin John, 23, and 25-year-old Kevin Darnell Cox were convicted with another man for Oct. 15, 2008, slayings of 24-year-old Janek Pietrzak and his 26-year-old wife, Quiana Faye Jenkins-Pietrzak. John was sentenced to death and Cox to two consecutive life terms.
Last month, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Christian Thierbach imposed capital punishment on 25-year-old Tyrone Lloyd Miller.
Cox continued to profess his innocence during the sentencing hearing today.
"Even after I got arrested ... I didn't think I'd be here today. I still don't think I should be. Remorse and regret are different things," he said.
Cox apologized "for what happened", but said he doesn't feel he "did anything to be here for it."
Glenda Faye Jenkins, Jenkins-Pietrzak's mother, said that "the love I have for her was always in my heart before he was born and still continues to be in my heart. It will always be in my heart for the rest of my life."
Miller, Cox and John were convicted June 5 of first-degree murder and special circumstance allegations that multiple lives were taken in the same crime and that the killings occurred in the course of a robbery and a burglary. Jurors also convicted Miller of sexual assault.
A fellow Camp Pendleton Marine, 25-year-old Kesaun Kedron Sykes, is expected to be tried on the same charges before year's end.
According to Deputy District Attorney Dan DeLimon, the four Marines wanted to get inside the Pietrzaks' two-story house on Bermuda Avenue in French Valley to steal their belongings, and to indulge in a power trip.
"This was about ... taking pleasure in the sexual humiliation of a woman and tormenting her husband by making him watch," DeLimon said.
Miller testified that he was displeased with Pietrzak because he had told him only a day or two earlier that his chances of being promoted to corporal were nil.
The defendants later told sheriff's investigators that they were mainly interested in the "stuff" they might be able steal from the victims, who had received numerous gifts at their wedding just two months earlier.
The three defendants, armed with shotguns, forced their way into the home and beat Pietrzak into submission, authorities said.
The victims were bound and gagged and thrown face-down on a sofa. After spending 90 minutes ransacking the house and hauling stolen goods to a vehicle parked outside, Miller and Sykes stripped Quiana and used a vibrator to violate her sexually, according to the prosecution. John shot the couple execution- style with a 9mm handgun.
The victims had been married 68 days.
—City News Service