RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — One former Marine was sentenced to death Friday and another to life in prison for their role in the murders of their sergeant and his wife during a home invasion robbery in Riverside in 2008.
The mothers of the victims spoke out in court Friday during sentencing.
“Even after four, almost 5 years, this is still difficult for me,” said Glenda Faye Jenkins, the mother of 26-year-old Quiana Faye Jenkins-Pietrzak.
She told the court her daughter’s memory and spirit will live on. Jenkins-Pietrzak was killed along with newlywed husband, 24-year-old Marine Sgt. Janek Pawel Pietrzak.
Court observers found the mothers’ pain heart-wrenching and palpable.
Jenkins’ mother added, “The love I had for her was always in my heart — before she was born and still continues to be in my heart. It will always be in my heart here on this Earth.”
KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports that Jenkin’s husband, Jan, was a proud Marine. His mother saw the couple as both her son and daughter.
“I miss my children so much — I cannot stand it. He was my VIP person. My future and my everything. First thing in the morning, I think about him. Before I go to bed I think about them,” said Jan’s mother, Henryka Pietrzak-Varga.
Two of the men who killed the couple both learned their fates at a hearing. John Emrys will get the death penalty. Kevin Cox will get life. Cox still denies wrongdoing.
“Even after I got arrested on this case I didn’t think I’d be here today. I still don’t think I should be,” Cox told the court.
Two other men have also been charged with committing the murders. Tyrone Miller, 25, has been found guilty and was sentenced to death un July, another defendant still faces trial.
Prosecutors believe the men killed Pietzrak because they were angry they weren’t promoted.
“I cannot overcome all of this,” said Janek’s mother
Prosecutors said the four defendants tied up and robbed the couple, tortured them and raped Pietzrak’s new bride before shooting them both in the head.