Dario Ormejuste, accused of killing his brother and parents, appears...

Dario Ormejuste, accused of killing his brother and parents, appears in court. (July 12, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Jury deliberations have begun in a grisly triple murder case in which an Elmont man is accused of killing his family, then living in the house with two of the bodies until police found him days later.

Dario Ormejuste, 25, is accused of both first- and second-degree murder after prosecutors say he first shot his brother, a New York City correction officer, then his mother and father in their family home on June 21, 2010. If convicted on the top counts, he will face life in prison without parole.

In her closing argument before Nassau County Judge Jerald Carter Tuesday, Ormejuste's lawyer, Dana Grossblatt, of Jericho, criticized police for doing "no investigation," because they assumed that Ormejuste, who had been living in the house with his dead brother and father for two days, was the killer. Grossblatt argued that Ormejuste had been living in a separate part of the house and had no idea his family had been slain when police arrived to arrest him June 23, 2010.

"He didn't know why they were after him," Grossblatt said. "You as the jury should be just as confused," she said, arguing that prosecutors had offered little evidence of her client's guilt.

But Prosecutor Michael Walsh said it would have been absurd for police to think anyone else was the killer. "There's no mystery here," he said. "Sometimes the evidence is exactly what it appears to be."

He dismissed Grossblatt's argument that police should have explored other theories, such as the possible involvement of Haitian gang members or an angry inmate from the prison where Ormejuste's brother worked.

But Walsh said the evidence shows instead that Dario Ormejuste used Guerby Ormejuste's service pistol to shoot the 30-year-old 10 times in the family's basement.

"Okay, so they go to the house to kill them," Walsh said, referring to the other theories. "Do you think they might bring their own murder weapon? Or do you think they'd rely on being able to find a murder weapon within the house?"

Walsh said Dario Ormejuste shot his mother, Rose Ormejuste, 65, once in the head, killing her, before waiting for his father, Bob Ormejuste, also 65, to come home from work and shooting him, too. Rose Ormejuste's body was found about two weeks later in the trunk of Guerby Ormejuste's car in Brooklyn.

Jurors, who began deliberating about 3 p.m. Tuesday, will continue Wednesday.

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