Fight Breaks Out as Jurors Deliberate Murder Verdict
Attorney's request for mistrial denied in case of accused Hopatcong killer Giuseppe Tedesco.
A fight broke out Wednesday afternoon when a Sussex County Superior Court Judge dismissed the jury who did not reach a verdict after a second straight day of deliberations in the Hopatcong murder trial.
The altercation was sparked by a comment made by a member of the public toward the defendant, Giuseppe Tedesco, according to the New Jersey Herald. Sussex County Sheriff's Officers controlled the chaotic scene and brought took both sides into separate rooms, the article said.
Jurors in the trial in which Tedesco is accused of murdering Alyssa Ruggieri requested copies of the medical examiner's autopsy report in court earlier on Wednesday, according to the New Jersey Herald.
Tedesco's trial has been ongoing since Dec. 4 and jurors could reach a verdict soon.
Despite Tedesco telling jurors his former friend, Ruggieri, was shot and killed mostly by her own inflicted shots, Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Seanna Pappas told jurors Tuesday Ruggieri's death was no accident.
According to nj.com, in Pappas' summation, she said that while the jury may believe one of the shots could have been accidental, Ruggieri was shot six times. Last month, Tedesco told jurors the gun was pointed at his own face during the physical dispute preceeding Ruggieri's death.
Tedesco is on trial for the murder of Ruggieri inside her Durban Avenue home. Ruggieri was shot six times on March 27, 2010, including in the abdomen, chest, hand, chin, nose and temple. A .25-caliber handgun, allegedly used in the shooting, was found covered in blood in Tedesco's car the night of the shooting.
NJ.com reported that Tedesco's attorney, Anthony Iacullo, maintained that Ruggieri found Tedesco's gun and while he attempted to get it away from her, shots were accidentally fired as the two struggled for possession of the gun and fell down a flight of stairs. Iacullo also requested a mistrial, but was denied.