The mother of a Marine sergeant who was tortured and killed with his wife –– four fellow Camp Pendleton leathernecks are set to stand trial –– said she’s hoping for nothing less the death penalty for her son’s accused assailants.
“I will ask for the highest punishment possible, and that’s the death penalty,” she said. “For what they did, for what they took from us, let them pay with their lives.”
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Her son, Sgt. Jan P. Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quianna Jenkins- Pietrzak 26, were found dead on Oct. 15 in their home in Winchester. An autopsy found both died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Pietrzak served with Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. He was a helicopter airframe mechanic with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164.
Officials said the bodies were found after arson investigators responded to a fire at the home. Sheriff's deputies said it appeared the fire was set "in what was an unsuccessful attempt to burn evidence."
Pvt. Kevin Darnell Cox, 20, of Tennessee; Pvt. Emrys John, 18, of Maryland; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20, of North Carolina; and Pvt. Kesuan Sykes, 21, from Fallbrook face murder charges in connection with the case.
Court records indicated that the four Marines acknowledged they had roles in the robbery, sexual assault and murder last year.
After their arrests, Miller, who with John worked for Pietrzak, told a sheriff's investigator that he forced his way into the home by pointing a shotgun at Pietrzak, according to an affidavit from a sheriff's investigator.
Miller said he and the others went to Pietrzak's home to rob him, said he tied up the couple and discussed with John whether to kill them, according to the court document.
The other two Marines acknowledged they went to the home to rob Pietrzak. All four said his wife was sexually assaulted, although each said it was the other three who committed the attack, the affidavit said.
According to the Daily News, Pietrzak-Varga and her daughter-in-law’s grieving mother mother will meet privately with prosecutors Wednesday to express their thoughts on the case.
“I had problems with this as a Catholic,” said Pietrzak-Varga. “But death is death, murder is murder, and for that they deserve punishment.”
Breaking down in tears, the paper said, she added, “They didn’t give them a chance to say goodbye, to say a final ‘I love you.’ ”