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Third day of preliminary hearing in Killgore murder focuses on cell phone evidence

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VISTA (CNS) - Testimony centered around cell phone records Wednesday in a preliminary hearing for a Marine sergeant, his girlfriend and another woman accused in the death of a 22-year-old military wife from Fallbrook.

Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Maraglino, 37, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Lopez are charged with murder in the death of Brittany Killgore, whose nude body was found in southwest Riverside County four days after she went missing last April 13. Authorities believe she was strangled.

A custodian of records from Sprint Nextel, Joseph Trawicki, testified about phone calls and text messages sent and received by various cell phones the night Killgore disappeared.

A friend of the victim, Channy Tal, testified earlier in the hearing that she was helping Killgore pack for a move back to Pennsylvania when Perez, a staff sergeant at Camp Pendleton, came over and insisted that Killgore go on the dinner cruise with him.

Killgore's Marine husband -- who was estranged from the victim -- was deployed in Afghanistan at the time of her murder and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Killgore had filed for divorce a few days before her death.

The witness said Killgore was reluctant to go on the cruise, but decided to accompany Perez after speaking with his girlfriend, Maraglino, who said it was OK because she was pregnant and didn't want to get seasick.

Perez also said he would get five men to help Killgore move, according to Tal.

Tal said Killgore texted the word "help" about 7:50 p.m., soon after leaving with Perez for the dinner cruise in San Diego. She said she tried to text Killgore back, but got no reply.

"I was concerned that something was wrong," Tal testified.

Minutes later, Tal said she texted Killgore again, writing, "Brit, are you OK? I'm freaking out."

Tal said she got a text back from Killgore's phone that read, "Yes, I love this party!"

The witness said Killgore never used the word "yes," but always"yeah."

Tal testified that she insisted that Killgore call so she could hear her voice, but got only a text in return that read, "(Call) in a few ... hot guys."

The witness she used a friend's phone to contact Perez, who she knew as "Ivan." Perez told her that he dropped Killgore at a club and saw her go off with "two guys," and he lost track of her, according to Tal.

Tal said she and her friends decided to report Killgore missing the next morning.

She said sheriff's deputies contacted Perez on April 14 and he showed up at Killgore's apartment.

"He looked kind of dirty, but he was calm and collected," Tal testified.

All three defendants were involved in sexual behavior that included bondage, torture, and master, servant and slave role-playing, and Killgore was an "unwilling participant" in those activities, sheriff's detective Susan Fiske alleged in search warrant affidavits.

According to court documents, Perez participated in a bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism community and said in online posts that he was planning to have a BDSM session the weekend of April 13, 2012.

Perez allegedly took Killgore to his Fallbrook home -- where authorities said they found ropes, whips, a Taser, a nightstick, spiked gloves and a "sex dungeon" -- before texting Lopez and Maraglino to join him.

At some point, Perez decided to kill Killgore, authorities allege.

The preliminary hearing -- expected to last through Friday -- will determine whether there's enough evidence for the defendants to stand trial.

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