Ashton Kutcher to testify in trial of alleged serial killer accused of murdering his friend

Ashton Kutcher is expected to testify Wednesday in the trial of an alleged serial killer, Michael Gargiulo, the so-called "Hollywood Ripper." Los Angeles prosecutors say Gargiulo murdered three women, including Ashley Ellerin, who was friendly with the actor. Kutcher's testimony is only expected to take a few minutes but it will be the first time we've heard Kutcher speak publicly about the case.

As a prosecution witness, Kutcher is expected to help establish the time of death for Ellerin. Kutcher and Ellerin were scheduled to go out on a date on the night she was murdered in February 2001. When Ellerin failed to answer her cell phone earlier in the evening, Kutcher went to her Hollywood home and knocked on the door.

During opening statements, prosecutors told jurors they believe Ellerin was attacked from behind by Gargiulo after she exited her shower on Feb. 21, 2001. Around 10:45 p.m., Kutcher arrived to take her to a GRAMMYs party. According to deputy district attorney Daniel Akemon, Kutcher looked in the window when he arrived at Ellerin's home and thought he saw wine spilled on the floor. "We believe now the evidence will show that was actually blood," Akemon said.

Kutcher allegedly told police that when she didn't answer the door, he left. Ellerin was found brutally stabbed to death by her roommate the next morning.

Prosecutors describe Gargiulo as a "methodical and systematic" killer. He is accused of attacking at least four women, three in California and one in Illinois. 
 
Michelle Murphy, the prosecution's first witness, was allegedly Gargiulo's only survivor. Prosecutors claim Murphy battled for the knife Gargiulo used to stab her, cutting him and leaving his DNA at the crime scene -- DNA that was found years earlier on another victim, Tricia Pacaccio, across the country.

The family of 18-year-old Pacaccio was called to testify in this trial because of the similarities between Pacaccio's 1993 death in suburban Chicago and the three cases from L.A. County. Investigators believe Pacaccio was Gargiulo's first victim.
 
Her murder was unsolved until 2011, when two witnesses came forward after watching a 48 Hours Mystery report on the case. Within a few weeks, Gargiulo was indicted, but has not yet been tried. His attorneys deny he killed anyone.
 
The Pacaccio family had never met the two witnesses who blew open the case until they all came to L.A. to testify. But the Pacaccios must wait for the trial in L.A. to end, before Gargiulo can be brought back to stand trial for their daughter's death.  
 
"Fighting for this case goes on with me forever. And that's the way it's gonna be," Pacaccio's mother, Diane, said.

A version of this story was originally published by CBS News on May 29 at 8:39 a.m. ET.

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Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher through the years
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Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher through the years
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend game 4 of the NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and singer Demi Lovato attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
THAT 70'S SHOW (TV - 1998) DANNY MASTERSON, LAURA PREPON, ASHTON KUTCHER, TOPHER GRACE, MILA KUNIS, WILMER VALDERAMA T70S 002
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis look on from the sidelines before the game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 22, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
THAT 70'S SHOW (TV - 1998) TOPHER GRACE, WILMER VALDERAMA, DANNY MASTERSON, MILA KUNIS, LAURA PREPON, ASHTON KUTCHER T70S 001
Apr. 10, 2002 - Hollywood, CALIFORNIA, USA - DON STARK, DEBRA JO RUPP, KURTWOOD SMITH, WILMER VALDERRAMA, LAURA PREPON, DANNY MASTERSON, ASHTON KUTCHER, MILA KUNIS, TOPHER GRACE..THAT 70S SHOW CELEBRATES ITS 100TH EPISODE WITH A PARTY AT.SUNSET ROOM, HOLLYWOOD, CA.APRIL 10, 2002. NINA PROMMER/ 2002 K24623NP(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 03: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend a basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 03: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend a basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 27: (L-R) Actors Jordy Masterson, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher seen during day 3 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 27, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher arrive at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). on September 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 25: Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend day 1 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 25, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 5: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend Game Two of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 5, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and singer Demi Lovato attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on March 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14: Founder of A-Grade Investments Guy Oseary, Actor Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend The Launch Of Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures At SXSW on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for SOUND)
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