The trial for the last of four defendants in the 2008 murders of a Marine Corps sergeant and his wife began in Riverside County Monday.
Kesaun Kedron Sykes is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along with special circumstance allegations of killing during the course of a robbery and other charges in the death of Iraq veteran Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26.
The couple was found murdered in their home in French Valley in October 2008. They were found gagged, tied and shot in the head. Peitrzak was physically assaulted and his wife was sexually assaulted before both were killed, according to Riverside County District Attorney’s office.
Sykes (below) could face the death penalty if he is found guilty.
Kevin Cox, Emrys John and Tyrone Miller were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder last year in connection with the crime.
Sykes, along with Cox, John and Miller, were all Marines and members of a chopper maintenance squadron at Camp Pendleton with Pietrzak.
Jurors determined that Miller and John should be put to the death and that Cox should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Detectives said that robbery was the motive.
According to Deputy District Attorney Dan DeLimon, the four Marines wanted to get inside the Pietrzaks' two-story home to steal their belongings and to also to engage "in the sexual humiliation" of the victims.
Miller had testified that he was upset with Pietrzak because he had told him only a day or two prior to the crime that there was no way he would be promoted to corporal.