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Centereach woman describes fiance's violence in 911 call played in Robert Waters murder trial

Opening statements began Dec. 3, 2014, in the

Opening statements began Dec. 3, 2014, in the bench trial of Robert Waters, 24, of Centereach, who is charged in the June 2011 death of Florence Troiani, his fiancee's grandmother. He is charged with second-degree murder. Credit: Suffolk County Sheriff

From the start, a Centereach woman was clear during a 911 call about the cause of the violence that was tearing through her house and ultimately left her grandmother beaten to death.

"My fiance is having a seizure," Denise Razzano said on a recorded 911 call played in state Supreme Court in Riverhead Tuesday. "He's very, very violent, just like the last time. He has a history of seizures."

Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock played the recording at the trial of Robert Waters, 24, who lived with Razzano and her grandmother, Florence Troiani, 90. He is charged with second-degree murder. His defense is expected to argue that he was not responsible for his actions on June 21, 2011, because he was in the midst of a seizure. Justice Fernando Camacho is trying the case without a jury.

An increasingly frantic Razzano told the 911 operator she was worried what might happen to her grandmother. The Suffolk chief medical examiner testified Tuesday that Troiani suffered a brutal beating that left her with six broken bones in her back and a 2 1/2-inch rip in her heart.

"He tossed everything in the . . . [expletive] house," Razzano said. "He's breaking everything in my house . . . I'm scared for my grandmother's life."

But she said she was worried for him, too.

"He doesn't know what's going on," she said. "He's delirious. He doesn't know where he is. He doesn't know who he is."

Later that night, at Stony Brook University Hospital, Det. Thomas Walsh said Waters told him he didn't remember what happened. He said Waters told him he remembered watching "Law & Order" and the next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance.

Walsh said Waters told him that since a video-game-induced seizure the previous December, he had been taking the anti-seizure medicine Gabapentin until a week or two before the killing, when a doctor took him off it after an MRI. He also said Waters told him he had stopped taking the anti-anxiety medicine Xanax a few days before.

Walsh also said Waters told him "he got mad at Grandma and he did something stupid. He said Grandma had medications she didn't use, such as Percocet [a painkiller], that he could use."

Walsh said Waters told him, "Grandma's gone. I'm responsible."

During cross-examination by defense attorney Anthony La Pinta, Walsh agreed that Waters' answers sometimes seemed unfocused.

Dr. Michael Caplan testified about Troiani's autopsy and concluded that her many injuries were consistent with repeated blows by fists or feet and not consistent with a fall. Some of the injuries to her hands likely came as she covered her head during the beating, Caplan said.

In response to a question by Camacho, Caplan said she was hit at least 25 to 30 times.

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