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Jury in Bittrolff double-murder case remains deadlocked

Murder defendant John Bittrolff in court in July

Murder defendant John Bittrolff in court in July 2014.  Credit: James Carbone

For the second straight day, jurors deliberating in the case of a Manorville carpenter accused of killing two women more than 20 years ago told a judge Thursday afternoon they were deadlocked.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro told lawyers that on Friday morning he will give the jury what is known as an “Allen charge,” which encourages jurors in the minority to re-examine their views with an eye toward reaching a verdict. The jury has been deliberating for 23 1⁄2 hours over four days in Riverhead.

Jurors earlier Thursday asked for a variety of evidence in the case, and for the definition of reasonable doubt — the standard the proof must exceed for conviction.

The jury is considering two counts of second-degree murder against John Bittrolff, 50. He is accused of strangling and bludgeoning Rita Tangredi, 31, of East Patchogue and Colleen McNamee, 20, of Holbrook. He was arrested in 2014 after DNA linked him to semen recovered from the bodies of both women, who worked as prostitutes.

Tangredi was killed Nov. 2, 1993, off a dirt road that is now Esplanade Drive in East Patchogue. McNamee was found south of the Long Island Expressway service road in Shirley, just east of the William Floyd Parkway, on Jan. 30, 1994.

Other than the DNA, there is no evidence directly linking Bittrolff to the women or the crime scenes.


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