Defense in Newbeck murder trial raises possibility of new accomplice

David Newbeck, 36, of Massapequa, was charged with David Newbeck, 36, of Massapequa, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 23, 2010 death of Mandy Jo Jenkins. Photo Credit: SCPD

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In the hours before and after a North Amityville man's girlfriend was shot to death, he phoned or texted a man who was next door as the crime happened, a Suffolk homicide detective testified Tuesday.

Det. Thomas Walsh was cross-examined much of the day by the attorney for David Newbeck, 36, the Massapequa man on trial on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Mandy Jo Jenkins, 30.

Defense attorney William Keahon of Hauppauge focused on calls and texts made by Jenkins' boyfriend, Joseph DeFelice, who was convicted of his role in the slaying last fall.

Prosecutors say DeFelice set up Jenkins to be killed on Aug. 23, 2010, by Newbeck, his childhood friend, after Jenkins refused to withdraw an identity theft charge against Newbeck's girlfriend. They say Newbeck came to the Halloween products warehouse where Jenkins lived with DeFelice, shot her and dumped her body in Lindenhurst.

But Keahon suggested during his questioning of Walsh in Suffolk County Court that two other men could have been the ones who helped DeFelice kill Jenkins instead of his client.

Walsh said DeFelice used his cellphone 31 times both before and after Jenkins was shot. Most of those calls and texts went to Anthony Pilo, 37, a West Babylon man who rented a recording studio next door to the warehouse, in the same building. Pilo was at the studio that night and is visible on surveillance video. Pilo is expected to testify Wednesday.

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Walsh testified that he never met Pilo until Monday night, when he and Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla went to his home to talk to him after the trial was done that day.

The day of the killing, DeFelice also contacted Anthony Cassino, who testified earlier in the trial about spending the days before the slaying with Newbeck and DeFelice in Atlantic City.

Cassino, who dropped DeFelice at the warehouse the night of the killing and returned early in the morning, said he saw DeFelice's dog licking a bloodstain and urged DeFelice to call police.

Walsh said DNA on a cigarette recovered from an ashtray in the room where Jenkins was killed matched Cassino.

Eventually DeFelice called police, telling them Newbeck did it, although he told varying stories about his own involvement in the crime.

Both DeFelice and Newbeck were arrested out of state after Jenkins' body was discovered in October 2010. DeFelice was in Florida. Newbeck was captured in Houston as he was about to board a plane to Ecuador.

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