The fourth and final suspect in the grisly 2008 murders of an Iraq War veteran and his newlywed wife was sentenced to death Friday, ending five years of painful court hearings for the couple’s families. Ex-Marine Kesaun Sykes, 27, was sentenced on two counts of first degree murder in the brutal deaths of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. The couple was shot execution style after four men stormed in at about 1 a.m. Oct. 15, 2008, with the intent to rob, prosecutors said. They sexually assaulted Jenkins-Pietrzak, an infant care counselor, and beat Pietrzak while they were bound and gagged. The intruders also painted the walls of the interracial couple’s WInchester/French Valley home with racial epithets, and lit a small fire to try and destroy evidence, according to prosecutors.
Pietrzak, of Brooklyn, had married his wife 68 days earlier.
“It’s been a long, nerve-wracking trial,” Pietrzak’s mother, Henryka Pietrzak-Vargaand, told the Daily News in June 5, 2013. “My relief is that (the convicted men) will never again be on the streets to hurt someone else.”
Sykes was tried separately from his three accomplices, who were convicted in 2013: Kevin Cox, Emrys John and Tyrone Miller. The three had worked with Pietrzak at Camp Pendleton as Marines, prosecutors said.
Sykes, who was convicted Aug. 5, will join John and Miller on death row. Cox was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.