Man accused of murdering a Connecticut couple faces extradition

The man accused of gunning down the owners of a Fairfield, Conn., jewelry store faces extradition proceedings in New York on Jan. 6, the Connecticut Post reports.

Christopher DiMeo, a native of Glen Head, N.Y., is accused in the Feb. 2, 2005, killing of Tim and Kim Donnelly, the popular, longtime owners of Donnelly Jewelers.

DiMeo, 23, is serving a life term in New York for the December 2004 murder of a Nassau County, New York, jeweler. Authorities said that the murders and robberies took place during a three-month spree in which DiMeo robbed at least four jewelry stores in New York and Connecticut with the help of his girlfriend and his mother in order to get money to feed their drug addictions. An estimated $300,000 worth of rings and bracelets was reportedly taken during four robberies, the newspaper reports.

Bridgeport State’s Attorney Jonathan Benedict reportedly said he has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty against DiMeo.

In the Fairfield case, DiMeo is charged with capital felony, two counts of felony murder, two counts of murder, and single counts of first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a firearm.

His girlfriend, Nicole Pearce, is charged with two counts of felony murder and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.

The paperwork to bring Pearce to Connecticut for trial has been delivered to the office of Gov. M. Jodi Rell to be forwarded to New York, the newspaper reports.

Police said the Donnellys were both shot multiple times with a semiautomatic handgun, the newspaper reports. They said nine bullet casings were found on the floor of the jewelry store. Police said Pearce, 23, cased the store before the robbery and gave DiMeo a sketch she made of the interior. They said the gun DiMeo used to kill the Donnellys was the same one used to kill Glen Head, N.Y., jeweler, Thomas Renison, at his store on Dec. 21. The gun was later found in DiMeo’s car, police reportedly said.

DiMeo and Pearce were captured Feb. 4 at an Atlantic City, N.J., motel after U.S. marshals, acting on a fugitive warrant, received a tip that the suspects were heroin addicts and may have gone there to gamble in the casinos, police reportedly said.

DiMeo’s mother, Maryann Taylor-Casey of Hicksville, N.Y., was arrested by Nassau police on charges of murder and robbery stemming from the slaying of the New York jeweler. She allegedly helped case the store and acted as the getaway driver.

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