Thursday, February 10, 2011

Man who bludegoned, dismembered mistress sentenced to 25 years

A Delaware man who murdered his mistress and dumped her body in the Atlantic Ocean because he could not afford to take care of two families was sentenced to 25 years in prison with 85% to serve for aggravated manslaughter. Rosario DiGirolamo, now 36, was sentenced in a Trenton, NJ courtroom yesterday for beating Amy Giordano, his 27 year old mistress, with a hammer, cutting her body into pieces, and burying Amy's body in a pond. The killing took place June 7, 2007. DiGirolamo plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter on January 3, 2011, when his $1 million bail, which his parents put up, was revoked.

DiGirolamo was seeing Amy when she lived in Hightstown, N.J, and he and his wife, Maria DiMaggio, lived in Millstone Township. DiGirolamo was putting Amy up in a $850 per month apartment apartment.

DiGirolamo claimed that his mistress lunged at him with a hammer after an argument over money and Giordano was threatening to  expose their affair, but Superior Court Judge Edward Neafsey pointed out that DiGirolamo searched "lethal karate blows to the back of the head...He studied how to do this and learned his lesson well,” Neafsey said. “What the vicious nature of the crime showed was his anger for the victim and his decision to eradicate her, totally eliminate her, from his life.”

The case did not just make New Jersey headlines, but Delaware's headlines, since two days after the killing, DiGirolamo and Amy's baby Michael DiGirolamo, then 11 months, off at a hospital in Delaware with a note stating "Please help my baby John Vincent I can no longer take care of him. Lost job, lost medical. God have mercy on me."

DiGirolamo was charged with murder in March 2008 after his former best friend became a government witness. John A. Russo Jr. told prosecutors that DiGirolamo had told him of plans to kill the 27-year-old Giordano because he couldn't afford two families. On June 4 or 5, 2007, Russo told prosecutors, DiGirolamo bought a reciprocating saw, garbage bags and drain cleaner at a Lowe's store that Russo managed, and on June 8 confided that he had killed Giordano.

Three days after DiGirolamo's arrest in March 2008, Russo took authorities to a pond near his Staten Island, N.Y., home where had led DiGirolamo on June 9, 2007. That day DiGirolamo threw a suitcase containing Giordano's body parts into the water, and drove to Delaware to get rid of their son.

Russo, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor evidence tampering, was sentenced in December under New Jersey's pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders to three years of supervision and 50 hours of community service.

Though prosecutors let DiGirolamo plead guilty to a lesser charge -- a murder conviction could have brought him 30 years to life in prison -- Assistant Prosecutor Al Garcia said after the sentencing that they never believed the victim provoked DiGirolamo. Garcia said the deal was cut because key witnesses had not always been honest with investigators, which could have undermined their credibility before a jury.

Garcia said about the victim,“She was with the man she loved. She was with her son. On that day Amy thought she was going to start a new life. She thought she was going to get a new job and a new apartment. But the defendant destroyed those dreams.” 
Just before sentencing, Judge Neafsey berated the defendant, saying about the dismemberment, "Even in death you did not give dignity to Amy Giordano...The time to show remorse and regret was after you killed her, not on your judgment day.”

Garcia said afterwards, "Justice was served, because he came into court and pled guilty. Usually they don't come in and plead guilty for 25 years.''

Marsha Kaller-Apter sent a latter to the court describing how the killing of her sister affected her life. Part of the letter stated  "There is a spot in my life that can't be filled...That was Amy's spot...I don't know what you were thinking and to tell you the truth I don't really care. You killed my sister and left my nephew for dead. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT!!!??? ... How can you even think of hurting someone so small and sweet.''

Jerome Ballarotto stated that before the internet search evidence, his client intended to go to trial, but now he'll appeal. "But considering that the judge was going to allow the jury to see that evidence, my client made a decision not to take the risk of a jury finding him guilty of planning to kill her.”

[Assistant Prosecutor Thomas]Meidt said the sentence marks the closure of one of the longest investigations in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It’s very satisfying,” Meidt said. “Sometimes you work a case for a long time and never solve it. This is a case where all the hard work paid off and we got a good disposition on it.”

Michael Girolamo was adopted by a relative on his father's side in 2008.

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