Ex-Marine Convicted in Slaying of Sergeant, Wife Sentenced to Death

CBS Los Angeles, November 7, 2014

A man who, with three accomplices, tormented and killed a Marine sergeant and his wife during a home invasion robbery near Murrieta was sentenced Friday to death.

Kesaun Kedron Sykes, 27, was convicted in August in the 2008 slayings of 26-year-old Quiana Faye Jenkins-Pietrzak and her husband, 24-year-old Janek Pietrzak.

Kesaun Sykes

Kesaun Sykes

The six-man, six-woman jury that found Sykes guilty recommended the death penalty and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Christian Thierbach followed that recommendation in Friday’s sentencing.

Sykes is the last of four ex-Marines to be sentenced in the Oct. 15, 2008 killings.

Last year, three members of Janek Pietrzak’s helicopter maintenance squadron at Camp Pendleton–Kevin Darnell Cox and Tyrone Lloyd Miller, both 27, along with 25-year-old Emrys Justin John–were convicted. Cox and Miller were sentenced to death, while John received two consecutive life prison terms.


The four men had forced their way into the Pietrzak’s French Valley home after knocking on the door at about 1 a.m., asking to speak to the sergeant. The four men then tied up and gagged the couple and ransacked the home for 90 minutes.

Quiana Pietrzak was separated from her husband, stripped and placed on a table, where three of the defendants sexually violated her with a vibrator, then mocked her, making lewd gestures and suggesting her cooperation could save her life.

The defendants had carried out a similar home-invasion in Oceanside less than a month earlier, but no one was killed in that robbery. {snip}

John shot the couple with a 9mm handgun.

The men then painted racial epithets on the home’s interior walls and on the victim’s bodies to make it appear as if the robbery was a hate crime. Pietrzak was of Polish descent, Quiana was black.

Sykes’ attorney, Doug Myers, argued that his client suffered from an under-developed brain.

Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and wife Quiana

Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and wife Quiana

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