MURDERED RESERVIST MAY HAVE BEEN HATE CRIME VICTIM

By Steve Angeles ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 12, 2013

VISTA, California – At least a dozen friends and family of Alvin Bulaoro appeared at a San Diego court house to see Kevin Coset, the U.S. marine believed to have brutally killed the Filipino American U.S. Army Reservist and former navy officer.

Coset entered a not guilty plea and had requested bail. Prosecutors asked for a $4 million bail, giving a brutal description of the alleged crime.

“He inflicted several traumatic injuries to Mr. Bulaoro. He cut Mr. Bulaoro’s neck almost from ear to ear 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 prosecutor Stephen Marquardt in court.

“It’s hard for us as a family and it’s painful. Very painful,” said Bulaoro’s brother, John outside the courtroom.

Coset is facing one count of murder with special circumstances for using a gun and knife. He looks at a possible prison sentence of 51 years to life.

Bulaoro’s family recalls Alvin’s dedication to his job. “He’s been in army, navy and he always expressed helping and protecting this country. He always said that he wanted to go to war. It’s sad that he didn’t die in the battle but he in the hands of a man just like him wearing a uniform. So we are just asking for justice,” said Bulaoro’s cousin, Sweet Jean Pacrim.

Investigations revealed that Bulaoro was gay.

Prosecutors would not reveal how Bulaoro and Coset knew each other, nor a motive for the murder.

Marquardt believes the two had met at an Albertsons parking lot in Fallbrook, California on December 21st before heading to a motel, where Coset allegedly killed Bulaoro.

Coset is alleged to have left the body in Bulaoro’s car and abandoned the vehicle back at the parking lot only to be found nearly two weeks later.

The family believes Bulaoro may have been a possible victim of a hate crime.

“We know at this point Mr. Bulaoro and the defendant have known each other for a very short period of time. We know that they went to a hotel room together on December 21st, 2012. And we know in that hotel room, the defendant murdered Mr. Bulaoro,” said Marquardt.

“I don’t care what my brother is. He is human and he’s still armed forces and this is not what it’s supposed to be. He can’t, this is very painful but somebody can’t kill him like this,” John said.

By the end of the emotional hearing, the judge had granted a bail of $5 million, a million dollars higher than Marquardt’s request. Coset is scheduled to appear again in court later this month.

Steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com

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