Wearing a blue linen suit, short hair, and a trimmed mustache, Ashton Kutcher took the stand to testify in a Los Angeles murder trial about a young woman that was murdered 18 years prior.
On February 21st, 2001, Kutcher was late to pick up Ashley Ellerin, 22, a fashion design student, from her home. When he finally arrived, he knocked but there was no answer. A peek in the window showed what he thought were wine stains on the floor, but he did not think much of it and left, assuming Ellerin was upset that he had arrived late and she had left without him, or was ignoring him at her door.
The next day, he heard the news. Ellerin had been found by her roommate just outside of her bathroom, having been stabbed 47 times. The stains Kutcher had seen when he looked inside the room were not wine at all.
“I remember the next day after I heard about what happened, I went to the detectives and said, ‘My fingerprints are on the door’. I was freaking out.” Kutcher said on the stand. It was clear that in the moment young Kutcher was worried he would somehow be tied to her death.
Michael Gargiulo is currently standing trial on two counts of murder, including this one, and one count of attempted murder. He is also awaiting trial in Illinois for another murder of a young girl. Gargulio has pled not guilty to all counts.
The murders have been known in the media as “The Hollywood Ripper”.
Best known for his roles in That 70’s Show and Two and a Half Men, Kutcher has been active in Hollywood for 20+ years now. He testified that he had called Ellerin from the set of That 70’s Show the day she died, and spoke about meeting up for a date that night. While some have described her as Kutcher’s girlfriend, he claims that they were only acquaintances who had met months before at a party, and he became interested in taking her out on a date after learning they were both single.
Kutcher is now married to former co-star of That 70’s Show Mila Kunis, is a father of two, and has been in the news recently for his organization that advocates against sex trafficking.