Michelle Murphy, now 37 years old, testified that she was awakened by someone on top of her and stabbing her with a knife.
The defendant, 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo, is accused of a crime spree that began in 1993. In the present trial, he is charged with the murder of Maria Bruno in El Monte and Ashley Ellerin of Hollywood. Ellerin at the time had been dating actor Ashton Kutcher, who prosecutors say will testify at the end of May.
Serial killer trial: Jury hears disturbing details of murder of young women, including Ashton Kutcher's date
Murphy testified that she grabbed the blade of the knife to fend off the attack and ultimately was able to kick her assailant off the bed. It happened in April 2008.
She testified that Gargiulo said nothing during the stabbing, but as she chased him out of the apartment he said, "I am sorry."
Investigators say that Gargiulo cut himself in the fight with the victim and left behind key DNA evidence.
Prosecutors say it took 15 years to catch the Gargiulo because he was such a sophisticated predator, careful not to leave physical evidence behind. He was able to access Murphy's apartment by climbing up to a second-floor window without a ladder and then slicing a window screen.
A former boss, Gustavo Bone, testified that Gargiulo boasted that he was skilled in martial arts and forensic science.
Prosecutors say that Gargiulo never stole from the homes he broke into and never sexually assaulted his victims.