It took 5 years for the wheels of justice to finally turn for the Bulaoro family.
But it took an hour, a pen and paper to bring it to a halt. After the opening arguments in his jury trial, former US Marine Kevin Coset pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of Alvin Justine Bulaoro.
“Nag hingi say and papel casi hindi sea maka alis, ginagapo sya, hindi sys maka tao. Binigay nila papel at tsaka ballpen para mag sulat. Mamaya nag sari ng judge palaces mo na ang jury pinalabas silk. Kami nag stay sa pamilya,” said Josephone Balaoro, the victim’s mother. “Sabi nag gu-guilty na daw sya stake tell the family I apologize. Sabi Nya ganon. Sabi ko yun lang? Mag apology lang sya.”
In January of 2013, former Navyman and Army reserve officer Alvin Bulaoro was found dead in his car in a Fallbrook parking lot, after missing for two weeks.
Surveillance video, Phone records, and credit card transactions led investigators to Coset and his diary, in where he admitted to killing Bulaoro, who was later identified as gay.
Other entries in that diary involved conspiracy theories that Coset was being watched and targeted by a certain “Musgrove organization.”
The two are believed to have met online in late December, and after a series of text messages, they ended up going to a Fallbrook motel room, where investigators say Coset stabbed Bulaoro 44 times, and shot him twice before wrapping him up in a sleeping bag.
The two are believed to have met online in late December and after a series of text messages they ended up going to a Fallbrook motel room, where investigators describe a horrific scene had occurred.
“He inflicted several traumatic injuries to mr. Bulaoro. He cut mr. Bulaoro’s neck almost from ear to eat along his neck. He also shot Mr. Bulaoro in the lower right side of the back of his head. He also shot Mr. Bulaoro right between the eyes, he also inflicted several stab wounds along Mr. Bulaoro’s head and torso,” said prosecuting attorneys Stephen Marquardt.
Throughout the 5 years of prosecution, Coset had undergone multiple mental evaluations, and had been in and out of the mental hospital, he had fired his lawyers several times, eventually representing himself.
Under this guilty plea a special circumstances enhancement had been dropped, and he is now facing 51 years to life in prison.
While the trial phase is over, it also avoids the quest for answers on why the crime took place.
“Buti lang sa akin nag guilty sya pero masakit parin walang…anak ko pinag laroan nya. Yun lang ang gusto nya. Walang rason rason bakit na gasa nya sa anak ko? Ano ba ang gasa ko, gusto ko tanong gusto ko tanong sa sentencing.
It’s been a difficult time for the family, who migrated from the Visayas in 2007.
Bulaoro was enlisted in the Navy for four years before the Navy downsized.
He continued to serve the country through the army reserves, while helping the family with their home health care business which they’ve named after him.
“Every day, every hour, in a lang sa patient natiin anim ng patient natin at pinapangalan nation sa kanya Alvin’s Home Care na eto.”
The family has made frequent court appearances for the past five years, and there is one more trip to the courthouse on April 20th, when they are expected to speak during the sentencing.