Jury deliberates in Conn. jeweler killings
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The fate of a Glen Head native accused of killing a husband and wife during a robbery at their Connecticut jewelry store in 2005 was in the hands of a jury Tuesday, a local newspaper reported.
The jury in Christopher DiMeo's murder trial was to begin deliberating Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court after final statements from lawyers, the Connecticut Post said.
The Post reports that the jury on Monday heard from Nicole Pearce, DiMeo's former girlfriend. Pearce, who is hospitalized with terminal cancer, testified Friday, and the recording was played in court Monday.
DiMeo, formerly of Richmond Hill, is accused of shooting Fairfield jewelers Tim and Kim Donnelly. DiMeo's lawyers have conceded their client killed the couple in February 2005, but say he didn't intend to kill them.
DiMeo, 29, is already serving a life prison sentence for the 2004 slaying of Glen Head jeweler Thomas Renison. He could face the death penalty for the Connecticut killings.
Pearce, 29, a native of California, was also an accomplice in the Nassau case and was sentenced to 20 years for her involvement. She was also charged with murder in the Fairfield case and took a plea deal that calls for her to cooperate with the government. She is expected to be sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.
She was recently diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, her attorney has said.
The motive in both the Glen Head and Connecticut killings was money for heroin, prosecutors say.
Pearce testified from her hospital room that on the day of the murders, DiMeo dropped her off at the Fairfield train station while he went to the Donnellys' store, the Post reported.
When he returned to their apartment that night, "He said it didn't go good, and I looked down and saw a drop of blood on his boot," Pearce said, sobbing, the Post reported. "He said it didn't go good and he didn't want to talk about it and we lay down and got high."
"The next morning, I woke up and turned on the TV and Chris' picture was on the television," she continued, crying, the Post said. "He heard me freaking out and woke up. He said, 'You've got to get your stuff. We've got to go.' "
Pearce broke down several times Friday as she answered questions from senior assistant state's attorney Joseph Corradino, the Post said. At one point, she became so upset recalling the 2004 slaying of Renison that she vomited, the Post reported.