Jun 19, 2018
US Marine convicted of killing Filipino man in CA appeals 51 years to life sentence
VISTA, CA — Kevin Coset was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison for murdering Visayas-born Alvin Bulaoro in December 2012.
Members of the Bulaoro family were present in the court during the bizarre hearing, which was delayed six weeks after Coset refused to leave his cell on the original sentencing date.
Coset, with his head shaved and in prison clothes, unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his March guilty plea before the judge handed down his punishment.
“We’ve been wanting and hoping for some sort of end to it but now that the sentencing is done. There doesn’t feel like there’s an end; it still feels like I don’t. I was expected something else. I was expecting to have a weight lifted off but it doesn’t feel like that at all,” said Janet Dela Cruz.
Alvin’s mother Josephine poured her heart out on the stand.
“Unfortunately, he took his life from us. You’re a monster,” said Josephine Bulaoro.
When it was as Coset’s turn to speak, he declined, but did ask to begin the appeals process.
This plan to appeal is the latest in a 5-and-a-half-year ordeal, full of twists and turns, with few questions answered.
“Now he doesn’t seem like he’s apologetic so…it’s pretty hard,” said brother John Bulaoro.
Bulaoro, a US Army Reservist, met with Coset in December 2012. He went missing for several weeks, before his lifeless body was found inside his car. Credit card transactions and surveillance video led investigators to coset and his journal.
In the journal, Coset confesses to killing Bulaoro with a gun and a knife.
Through a half a decade’s worth of court proceeding, Coset kept hiring and firing lawyers as he shuffled in and out of mental institutes.
He eventually represented himself and plead guilty one hour into the hearing.
The plea deal made prosecutors drop enhancement charges, but now after failing to change his plea, he’s now asking to dismiss the past half decade’s worth of proceeding.
“It was so bizarre how it ended. We expected two weeks, and it ended in an hour…. I don’t really think closure is the right word for it. He’s still playing games, even with him asking for an appeal after all of this just the audacity of that. I don’t even know what’s he’s thinking not thinking. It’s just hard.”
The family has been thankful for the support they’ve gotten from prosecutors and other family members in the Philippines.
“We’re hoping that the appeal will be denied by the superior court. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank the family and friends, the US Navy family, and the Army,” said Sweet Jean Pacrim. “They were with us the whole time, especially during the time we were trying to put him to rest. And while we were struggling to find justice. And finally and we’re hoping that justice will finally be served.”
Prosecutors explained that it would take some time before the appeal processed and if the courts want to accept his grounds for the appeal.
In the five long years since his murder, the Bulaoro family, who runs a home health clinic, has continued to honor Alvin’s memory. They’ve renamed the family business to Alvin’s Home Health a tribute to his kindness compassion and hard work.