View Full Version : Mom of slain Marine Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak wants death penalty for his killers

01-20-09, 05:30 AM
Mom of slain Marine Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak wants death penalty for his killers


Tuesday, January 20th 2009, 3:58 AM

The mother of murdered Brooklyn Marine Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak has made up her mind - she wants the four Marines accused of killing her son and daughter-in-law put to death.

"They will get as much sympathy from me as they gave my son and my beautiful Quiana, which is none," an angry Henryka Pietrzak-Varga said Monday.

"I will ask for the highest punishment possible, and that's the death penalty," she said. "For what they did, for what they took from us, let them pay with their lives."

Pietrzak-Varga said she and Quiana's mom, Glenda Faye Williams-Jenkins, reached the same decision after wrestling with their consciences for weeks.

"I had problems with this as a Catholic," said Pietrzak-Varga, who lives in Bensonhurst. "But death is death, murder is murder, and for this they deserve punishment."

Breaking down in tears, Pietrzak-Varga added, "They didn't give them a chance to say goodbye, to say a final 'I love you.'"

"They covered their mouths with tape, they silenced them forever," she said. "At first I thought that having to spend a lifetime in jail, having to think about what they did, would be punishment enough. But now I am convinced it isn't, and it can never be."

Pietrzak-Varga said Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak's mom also wants the death penalty, but reached by telephone, the grieving woman declined to say which way she was leaning.

"I don't want to answer that right now," she said, choking back a sob.

Quiana's uncle Kevin Williams made it clear in an e-mail where he stands.

"I want the death penalty for all four," he wrote.

The grieving moms will make their wishes clear when they meet privately for a pretrial sitdown tomorrow with prosecutors in Riverside, Calif.

Prosecutors, who want input from the victims' next of kin, have not said whether they will seek the death penalty, and a judge still must decide whether to allow it.

Pietrzak-Varga will also give prosecutors potent victim impact statements from her Brooklyn pastor, and from a decorated Polish-American Marine.

"Men who would deliberately do harm in such a brutal manner to a fellow Marine and his wife are a disgrace to the uniform," wrote Sgt. Matt Erszkowicz of Passaic, N.J., who earned a Purple Heart while serving in Iraq.

"We should not tolerate such monsters in the ranks of our military nor in our society."

The Rev. Andrzej Kurowski of St. Frances de Chantal Church in Borough Park said his flock of 2,000 Polish immigrant families is "emotionally and morally devastated."

Pietrzak's death "came from the hands of people [who] should learn from Jan Pawel how to be a man, husband and American," the pastor wrote.

Noting that he is a priest, Kurowski did not call for the death penalty. Instead, he urged a "just judgment" for the "four criminals dressed [in] U.S. Marines uniforms."

The influential Polish American Congress also weighed in, urging the court to impose a "punishment to fit the crime."

Even if the Marines were sentenced to death, it could be years before they're executed.

There are 770 prisoners on California's Death Row, and executions have been on hold for three years because a federal court ruled that the state's lethal injection procedures are inhumane.

The accused Marines - Pvt. Emrys John, 18; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20; Pvt. Kesuan (Psycho) Sykes, 21, and Pvt. Kevin Cox, 20 - have pleaded not guilty.

The Pietrzaks were murdered Oct. 15 after the gun-toting Marines burst into their Temecula, Calif., home, police said.

The killers tied up and tortured the couple. They violated Quiana repeatedly. Then John shot them both in the head, police said.

John and Miller worked for Pietrzak, a Polish-born Iraq war vet who was a helicopter mechanic at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

Prosecutors said the motive was robbery, and that the fact that Pietrzak, 24, was white and his 26-year-old wife was black did not figure in the crime. The suspects are all black.

Neither mom is convinced this was a simple robbery, and both told the Daily News last week they were still struggling with the death penalty question.

The accused Marines will not be at the meeting.