I still don’t subscribe to the death penalty but there are times when you can’t help wondering if it is justified after all.
The depths of evil to which some human beings allow themselves to sink can sometimes mess with my mind. We all have the capacity for great good and great evil alike. In varying degrees. That’s what I believe. And we ALL have a conscience and, I believe, a sense of right and wrong.
Why some people are willing to let the evil side prevail so completely, is a question to which, I guess, there will never be an answer. And perhaps as a society when such depravity is revealed, we need to find a way to snuff it out in the same way we should be willing to celebrate and uplift good deeds.
The gang that initially thought to rob Brooklyn-raised Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his young bride, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, ended up tying them up, sexually assaulting her and murdering both of them.
BY NANCY DILLON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT.
Jury recommends ex-Marine Kevin Cox, left, should get life in prison and ex-Marines Emyrs John and Tyrone Miller should get the death penalty.
Convicted shooter Emrys John, 23, and fellow ex-Marine Tyrone Miller, 25, were part of a robbery gang that stormed the victims’ southern California house in October 2008, beat and hog-tied Pietrzak and forced him to watch as Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak was sexually assaulted with a pink vibrator and then shot the newlyweds in their heads, using couch cushions as silencers.
A third ex-Marine, Kevin Cox, 25, should get life in prison without parole for his role in the shocking crime, a separate jury recommended. Cox had his own jury because of the lengthy confession he gave police.
The three will be formally sentenced by a Riverside County judge later this summer.
Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, were brutally murdered in their southern California home.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Piertrzak’s mother said it’s been a painful and grueling four and a half years since the horrific execution-style murders.
“We have some relief now, but we still cannot hug [our children] or talk to them. We can go to a cemetery only. We have only that plot, that piece of ground to kiss,” Pietrzak-Varga said after the first-degree murder verdicts were read June 5.
“If somebody asked me what I really want, I want my children back. Can I have it? No,” she said. “My relief is that [the convicted men] will never again be on the streets to hurt somebody else.”
‘We have some relief now, but we still cannot hug [our children],’ Sgt. Jan Pietrzak’s mother said after the verdict was read.
Wearing all black with her blond hair tied back, the devastated mom said she recently moved to New Jersey from Brooklyn, where she raised her son, because the memories were too crushing to bear.
“But it’s not easy running from memories,” she said. “You never really have peace. You cannot run away.”
A fourth man charged with the murders, Kesaun Sykes, is being tried separately and is scheduled to return to court in August.
The case grabbed immediate headlines for its savagery and connection to Camp Pendleton.
Convicted shooter Emrys John, 23, left the couple lying on top of each other, dead and battered.
The trial included graphic crime scene photos that showed Jenkins-Pietrzak’s naked body face down on a couch, the 26-year-old’s arms bound behind her back with red tape and multiple gunshot wounds to her tape-wrapped head.
Beneath her lay the lifeless, badly bruised and bound body of her 24-year-old husband, his white T-shirt drenched in blood.
According to prosecutors, the four men went to the victims’ home with the intention of robbing it. Miller testified he also wanted to confront Sgt. Pietrzak over a perceived slight at work, saying he believed the helicopter mechanic planned to stand in the way of his promotion to corporal.
Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 25, helped storm the couple’s home, sexually assault Jenkins-Pietrzak and kill both her and her husband.
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Daniel DeLimon apologized to jurors for showing the graphic crime scene photos during his opening statement in April.
“I did it because you need to know,” he said, describing the double slaying as a “sadistic” game played by four cold-blooded killers.
Some photos showed racial slurs spray-painted inside the mixed race couple’s house.
“It’s been a long, nerve-wracking [trial],” Pietrzak-Varga told The News, her eyes welling with tears.