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Jury mulls fate of Commack murder defendant

A Suffolk jury on Monday began deliberating the fate of Donovan Raysor, the third person tried in the October 2008 murder-for-hire of Nesconset attorney James DiMartino.

The jury of seven women and five men began deliberating at 10:47 a.m. at the county courthouse in Riverside.

Raysor, 23, of St. Albans, Queens, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy for his role in DiMartino's death.

DiMartino, 44, a married father of four, was shot and killed on Oct. 20, 2008, outside a restaurant on Jericho Turnpike in Commack. His body was found by a passerby in the restaurant's parking lot.

Prosecutors say Raysor and two others, Monique Randall, 31, also of St. Albans, and Darnell Festus, 25, of Queens, were paid a total of $10,000 by DiMartino's business partner, Ronald Thornton, to kill DiMartino.

Thornton, 39, a Nesconset mortgage broker, and Festus, who prosecutors said was the triggerman, are serving life sentences at upstate prisons. Each was convicted earlier this year of first-degree murder.

Randall, who had been Raysor's girlfriend at the time of DiMartino's death, pleaded guilty in November 2008 to second-degree murder for her role in the plot.

Randall testified as a prosecution witness at the trials of Raysor, Festus and Thornton. She is expected to be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for cooperating with prosecutors.

During two days on the witness stand at Raysor's trial, Randall testified that Thornton had approached her about finding people who were willing to murder someone, whom she later learned was DiMartino. She said she asked Raysor to participate in the plot.

Randall testified Raysor told her he had demanded $10,000 from Thornton to kill DiMartino. She said Raysor was in a nearby hotel room when Festus shot DiMartino.

About an hour after DiMartino was shot, Raysor and Festus spent several hundred dollars on clothes and shoes at a Huntington clothing store, prosecutors said.

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