A Marine corporal suspected of murdering an Army lieutenant pleaded not guilty on Monday morning during a preliminary hearing.
Kevin Coset, 23, is accused of slaying 24-year-old Alvin Bulaoro who was found dead in a grocery store parking lot on Jan. 3. Bulaoro’s body was found zipped up in a sleeping bag inside a 1997 Toyota 4Runner.
Coset allegedly slit the victim's throat almost from ear-to-ear and shot Bulaoro twice in the head. The Medical Examiner said Bulaoro had 44 stab wounds total.
During the preliminary hearing, detectives said Coset and victim exchanged a phone call and 29 text messages between Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, 2012. Bulaoro was reported missing on Dec. 23.
The device Coset was allegedly using to contact Bulaoro was a “pay as you go” phone purchased on Dec. 19, according to detectives. Investigators saw that Coset was one of the last numbers Bulaoro had contacted, which led to his arrest on Feb. 22 at Camp Pendleton.
Evidence in the preliminary hearing revealed Coset had a journal, in which he allegedly wrote about the killing.
In the courtroom Monday, NCIS detective Jason Keller read the following excerpt out load from Coset's diary:
"Tonight I had to kill for the third time. It was a guy named Alvin Bulaoro in Fallbrook. It was definitely a him or me situation. I find no joy in killing but must survive in my fight against the evil Musgrove organization.They have been plotting against me for years now as well as entering my mind and stealing my intelligence."
According to the arrest warrant, Bulaoro and Coset had met up in an Albertson's parking lot in Fallbrook. Detectives said surveillance video shows that the suspect parked his car in the lot, got into the victim's Toyota 4Runner, and the two men drove away to a nearby hotel.
The suspect then supposedly drove the victim's truck back to the grocery store parking lot, leaving the victim's body inside.
The arrest warrant also quoted the victim's brother telling investigators that his brother was gay, and may have been headed for a popular San Diego gay bar when he was first reported missing on Dec. 23.
On Monday afternoon a judge said Coset will be held without bail and will go to trial with special circumstances. If found guilty, Coset could face the death penalty or life in prison.