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Sentencing Day For Conn. Jewelry Store Shooter

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Christopher DiMeo

Christopher DiMeo (Photo: CBS 2)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBS 2) — The penalty phase of the Christopher DiMeo trial was set to begin Tuesday in Connecticut. The jury will decide if he gets a life sentence or the death penalty.

Last month, DiMeo was found guilty in the shooting-deaths of  Kim and Tim Donnelly in their Fairfield jewelry store in 2005.

DiMeo’s lawyers didn’t dispute that he shot the couple, but argue he doesn’t deserve the death penalty because he was high on heroin during the holdup and did not intend to kill anyone.

Accomplice Nicole Pearce testified that  “He said it didn’t go well at all. He took off all his clothes and I asked further questions and he said he wouldn’t answer me.”

She added that when asked about the man in the store, “He said it didn’t go well. The following, you know, day I got the newspaper and I saw the article in the paper. The article about what had happened; the shooting.”

Dimeo was arrested while hiding in an Atlantic City motel. Pearce said on February 7 that she was so strung out on drugs she walked past arresting officers on her way to get a cup of coffee as them moved in.

“I was surrounded by a bunch of guys with S.W.A.T. gear and they rushed me into the lobby and I asked what was going on and they told me there was a hostage situation. I went to the clerk. I asked if I could pay the money, you know, for the extra room. She said wait ‘til this is done with. I was oblivious to the fact they were there for him,” Pearce said.

There were two shootings in the course of four jewelry store robberies. DiMeo and Pearce were already convicted in the murder of Thomas Denison in his Glen Head, Long Island jewelry story prior to the Fairfield shootings.

Pearce was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the crime.

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