Long Awaited Peace
By Derek Obregon
Murdered Marine and wife finally get justice served
Justice will be served for two of the four men that brutally murdered Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak back in October 2008. This story is extremely heartbreaking because it wasn’t just a random act of violence, it was a planned attack that’s possibly racially fueled because Pietrzak was white and his wife was African American. All of the defendants are African American and served as marines at CampPendleton, but only Pvt. Kevin Cox, Pvt. Emrys John and Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller worked with Pietrzak. The fourth man, Pvt. Kesaun Sykes, served at CampPendleton, but did not work with Pietrzak. During that fateful day in October, Cox, John, Sykes and Miller broke into the Pietrzak home in the unincorporated area of Winchester/French Valley near Murrieta at gunpoint and tied up the couple as they began to rob and ransack the house. Pietrzak was physically assaulted and his wife was both physically and sexually assaulted. After torturing the couple, the men shot both victims in the head. They used two couch cushions to muffle the gunshots and tried to set fire to the house to cover their tracks. Some footprints that were left behind tied the men to the crimes. After questioning Miller, detectives found what they were looking for. A dozen firearms, stolen passports, two check cards with Quiana Pietrzak’s name, a bracelet with the victims’ name and Pietrzak’s blue military dress uniform, complete with his medals—all of that was hanging in Millers quarters. On June 5, 2013, two separate Riverside County juries found Cox, John and Miller guilty, on two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of murder during the commission of a robbery, during the commission of a burglary and multiple murders. Jurors decided that John and Miller should get the death penalty and because Miller did not waive his sentencing, he was sentenced to death on July 19, 2013. Sykes is the fourth man charged with the murders and he is scheduled to return to court for a trial readiness conference on Nov. 22, 2013.
Today, Aug 16, Judge Christian Thierbach sentenced Emrys John to death, and Kevin Cox to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the October 2008 murders of Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, who were found murdered in their home in the unincorporated area of Winchester/French Valley, near Murrieta.