Ex-Coast Guardsman convicted of killing colleague, sentenced to life
By HAVEN ORECCHIO-EGRESTIZ | Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass. | Published: September 13, 2017
BARNSTABLE, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — More than 2½ years after he staged an elaborate attack on a fellow Coast Guardsman, shooting and killing her, and severely injuring her wife and a Bourne police officer, 33-year-old Adrian Loya was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of first degree murder.
Early in the morning on Feb. 5, 2015, Loya shot and killed 31-year-old Lisa Trubnikova, recording video of the attack and planting hoax explosive devices to delay the response by law enforcement.
"Yes, we begged and pleaded to be spared, for the nightmare to be just that," Trubnikova's wife, Anna, said in her victim impact statement. "Once my body was shot all those times ... Lisa got to hear that she was loved. She got to feel my lips on hers before she took her last breath."
Loya appeared unmoved during the sentencing. As he was being moved into a van outside the courthouse he told reporters he was "very, very sorry."
The Barnstable County jury of five men and seven women also found Loya guilty of 10 counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device (ammunition magazine); three counts each of aggravated assault and battery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; two counts each of armed assault to murder, armed home invasion, armed assault in a dwelling and armed kidnapping with serious bodily injury; and one count each of burglary and assault on an occupant, arson of a motor vehicle, possession of a hoax device, and assault and battery on a police officer.
They found him not guilty of one count of armed assault with intent to murder Anna Trubnikova. In his mission plan, titled "Operation Purple Rebel," Loya wrote that one of his objectives was to keep Anna Trubnikova safe during his attack.
The jury deliberated for two days after listening to seven days of testimony in Barnstable Superior Court. Evidence included a video Loya made of himself having a panic attack, his more than 250-page memoir titled "Loya Wars," and other documentation of his plan.
Lisa Trubnikova's parents held each other in a long embrace after Loya was removed from the courtroom prior to sentencing. Anna, Lisa's mother, Virginia Berlanga, and Lisa's sister Lori Ruiz choked up as they recalled memories of Lisa.
"This incredible pain I feel isn't something that becomes more bearable as time passes," Ruiz said. "The mercy that he (Loya) has been granted is that he is still alive and my sister is not."
Berlanga said she heard during Anna's testimony that Lisa was "defiant" and didn't comply with the commands he shouted at her during the attack.
"Even in my unbearable pain it brought a smile to my heart because I could certainly picture her: defiant, defiant for her rights," Berlanga said. "Her rights as a woman, rights as a gay person. Defiant against him."
Berlanga spoke directly to Loya about a Thanksgiving dinner he spent with their family at Lisa's home in Alaska. Thanksgiving, she said, was her daughter's favorite holiday and she invited everyone she knew on the base who may not have had anywhere to go.
"That was our daughter," Berlanga said.
Loya was the only guest and stayed for an hour, making small talk before leaving, she said.
"You were a co-worker who she invited because you had nowhere else to go," Berlanga said. "We thought you were a friend."
Judge Gary Nickerson sentenced Loya to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the murder charge. Nickerson sentenced him to life in prison to serve concurrently for each of seven other charges and between 14½ and 15 years following the life sentences on each of the two aggravated assault and battery charges connected to the shooting of Anna Trubnikova and police Officer Jared MacDonald.
The "grievance needs to be addressed beyond the murder," Nickerson said.
Nickerson sentenced Loya to between 2½ and 20 years to serve concurrently in connection with the various other charges. He will serve his time at Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction in Walpole.
Loya traveled from his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, on his 31st birthday to carry out the meticulously planned mission, which he claimed was revenge for a sexual assault by Lisa Trubnikova in 2012. The alleged assault was not physical, Loya said in interviews and the manifesto he wrote and left for police, but rather a "rape" of his mind.
At 2 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2015, four months after he had traveled to Bourne for a dry run of the shooting, a heavily-armed Loya returned to the Trubnikovas' Monument Beach neighborhood. At the time, Lisa Trubnikova was stationed at Joint Base Cape Cod and Anna Trubnikova was stationed in Woods Hole.
Loya lit his car on fire in the only entrance to the condominium complex to stymie the police response, scattered hoax explosive devices around the development, and blasted his way into their home with a rifle.
A masked Loya, who had a video camera strapped to his chest, then confronted the couple in their bedroom, barking commands at them. After revealing his face, Loya fired 15 shots into a mattress the couple was hiding behind, killing Lisa Trubnikova, who was struck 11 times. Anna Trubnikova, who was shot four times, lay next to her dead wife for more than an hour while she waited for rescue personnel to get to her.
The paramedics and police, who Anna Trubnikova had made contact with by phone, were delayed by Loya, who, on leaving the home, turned on music from the Star Wars and James Bond movies using a boombox he placed near a mailbox, and opened fire on police, striking MacDonald in the back.
Loya later told police he intended for officers to fire back and kill him, but they didn't and he surrendered.
"I am no longer a police officer because of Mr. Loya," MacDonald said in his impact statement, while his service dog, Bullet, whined from the audience. "I no longer walk proudly in a uniform; I walk in pain sometimes with the label of handicapped."
Loya's case rested heavily on the testimony of four mental health professionals, each offering varied diagnoses of mental illness and Loya's state of mind at the time of the shootings. His attorney, Drew Segadelli, did not dispute Loya's actions. Instead, he asked jurors to find him not guilty because a mental defect made him incapable of realizing the wrongfulness of his conduct. Prosecutors countered that he knew what he was doing was wrong and could be held criminally responsible for his crimes.
After the verdict, Segadelli said he may not agree with the jury's decision, but he would never question their efforts.
Segadelli said he's disappointed that "too often" jurors don't trust in the legitimacy of an insanity defense.
"That's what's always troubled me," he said. "In this particular case, they should have embraced it."
Jurors began deliberating Friday. At 2:35 p.m. Tuesday they returned to the courtroom with the verdict.
Eight jurors stayed for the sentencing, but declined to talk to reporters afterward. Anna and her family also declined to comment.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe commended First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny and Assistant District Attorney Michael Donovan for being devoted to the successful prosecution of a "complicated" case as well as the jury for its "conscientious spirit" in deciding a "tough case."
"It was a classic battle of the experts but I really think they came to the right decision," O'Keefe said about the jury.
Anna Trubnikova is "a strong young woman and I think she's going to rebound from this and do well with the rest of her life," O'Keefe said.
In court, Anna Trubnikova recalled the moment she met her future wife.
"It was the most effortless connection I've experienced with another person," she said.
The couple married in New York the next year. They had ups and downs throughout their three-year marriage, but when they were relocated to Cape Cod, they got a chance to start over and enjoy it, Anna Trubnikova said, adding that they were considering starting a family.
"We were happier than we had ever been and loving every aspect of our lives together," she said about the months preceding the attack.
Since that morning, which Anna Trubnikova called "the most devastating day" of her life, she's moved four times, had to give up two of her three pets, and has been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. She is in the process of being medically discharged from the Coast Guard, she said.
"He alone has impacted a community of people that once felt safe," she said. "He has harmed others in the process of his extensive planning."