All six defendants in the Carlo Troiani murder-for-hire case will be tried individually, Superior Court Judge Gilbert Nares ruled Monday. Previously, Nares ruled that Laura Troiani, 24, wife of the slain Marine staff sergeant, and former Marines Mark Schulz, 21, and Russell Harrison, 21, would be tried separately on charges that they murdered Carlo Troiani, 37, on Aug. 10, 1984, in an ambush shooting on a rural Oceanside road.
On Monday, Nares ruled that the other three ex-Marine defendants--Jeff Mizner, 22; Kevin Watkins, 20, and Russell Sanders, 21--also should be tried separately because the three are expected to make statements incriminating one another, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Phil Walden.
Laura Troiani's trial, the first of the series, is scheduled to begin Aug. 4, but attorneys for both sides note that depending on the outcome of her and Schulz's trials, the other defendants may plea bargain rather than face their own trials.
The district attorney's office is seeking the death penalty against all six, contending that all six conspired to kill the sergeant, waited in ambush, and that they killed for money because Laura Troiani was going to pay the others $500 each from her husband's life insurance benefits.