Marines arraigned in couple's slaying

MURRIETA--Four Camp Pendleton Marines charged in the deaths of a French Valley couple could face the death penalty if convicted.

They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Thursday in Murrieta. Earlier, the quartet gave confessions in the slayings of Marine Sergeant Jan Pietrzak and his wife, according to Riverside County sheriff’s investigators.

Deputy DA Ryan Hightower lists the charges: “There are two counts of murder with enhancements for robbery and rape.”

Hightower says the victims knew their assailants who attempted to cover up the slayings by setting a small fire inside the couple’s home where the bodies were found the next day.
Story Date: November 21, 2008

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