VISTA, Calif. (AP) — A Marine Corps wife allegedly killed by three people in a sex bondage ring used to socialize with its members but never participated in their alternative lifestyle, the victim's best friend testified Monday.
Elizabeth Hernandez detailed for the first time Brittany Killgore's alleged relationship to the defendants — another Marine and two women — during a preliminary hearing in San Diego County that will determine if the suspects stand trial in the case.
Marine Sgt. Louis Perez, Jessica Lopez and Dorothy Maraglino have pleaded not guilty to murder.
Hernandez said she and Killgore, 22, became acquainted with the defendants in 2011 after Hernandez responded to an ad selling a fertility monitor on a website used by military families.
Hernandez said she befriended Maraglino, 37, because the two were both trying to have a baby, and that she and Killgore regularly visited Maraglino's home where she lived with Lopez.
Hernandez said the trio openly talked about their lifestyle in which Perez played the master, Maraglino was the mistress and Lopez was the slave. They also had a giant spider web on the wall and bars on the ceiling used in their sex games.
Hernandez said she and Killgore made it clear they were not interested in participating. Instead, Hernandez and Maraglino would cook together, share recipes and talk about life, according to Hernandez's testimony.
Then Hernandez and Killgore had a falling out in 2012 as the victim prepared to divorce her husband, Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore, who was serving in Afghanistan.
Hernandez said she talked about the souring of their friendship with Perez and the others. She said they started referring to Killgore as "the disease" and "herpes" after Killgore started dating Hernandez's brother.
Perez and Maraglino "would say they could get rid of her but they wouldn't because they knew I would miss her," Hernandez testified, saying she thought they were joking.