Two suspects in jewelry store slayings plead not guilty

Manacled to his bed by his right ankle inside an austere room of a hospital prison ward, Christopher DiMeo, 23, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to leading a monthlong, heroin-induced robbery and killing spree in New York and Connecticut, authorities reportedly said.

DiMeo’s girlfriend, Nicole Pearce, 23, who had her own room on the opposite end of the hospital prison ward, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree robbery, Newsday reports.

The couple had been taken to the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, both suffering from drug withdrawal, Newsday reports.

Wearing a light blue gown and lying under a sheet in the private room, DiMeo nodded that he understood the charges against him but did not say a word, Assistant District Attorney Bob Biancavilla told the newspaper.

The pair is accused of committing at least four jewelry store robberies beginning in early December to support their addictions, Biancavilla reportedly said, killing three people.

DiMeo’s mother, Maryann Taylor-Casey, 40, of Hicksville, is accused of helping Pearce scope out a store in Glen Head on Dec. 21 and drove the getaway car, Biancavilla reportedly said. Taylor-Casey was arraigned Sunday. She is being held without bail at the Nassau County jail.

After they leave the hospital, both will return to the Nassau County jail and held without bail, Biancavilla reportedly said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Nassau district attorney’s office will meet next week with officials at the Connecticut state attorney’s office in Bridgeport, Conn., to determine where all three will be prosecuted first, the newspaper reports.

No decision has been reached, Biancavilla reportedly said.

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