Daniel Pelosi was convicted of second-degree murder Monday in the 2001 bludgeoning death of a millionaire investment banker who was beaten as he slept in the bedroom of his $10 million mansion.
Jurors deliberated over three days before deciding on the charges that Pelosi killed Theodore Ammon, the estranged husband of Pelosi's lover, at Ammon's home in the eastern Long Island community of East Hampton. Ammon was beaten more than 30 times on the head with a blunt object.
Pelosi closed his eyes when the verdict was read. Before the jury returned to the courtroom, he made the sign of the cross and shook hands with his three lawyers. After hearing the verdict, he sat down with his hands on his face.
The verdict capped an eight-week trial filled with tales of adultery and family betrayal. Prosecutors said Pelosi killed Ammon in October 2001 because he was angry over a proposed divorce settlement presented to Ammon's estranged wife, Generosa. Pelosi and Generosa Ammon were having an affair at the time of the slaying.
Pelosi said he was at his sister's house in Center Moriches, 40 miles from Ammon's mansion at the time.
The sister, Barbara Lukert, left the court in tears after the verdict. "He didn't do it. He didn't do it," she said.
Lawyers on both sides did not immediately comment.
The defense suggested Generosa Ammon might have been the killer. She married Pelosi three months after her husband's death, although they later split, and died last year of cancer. He received $2 million under a postnuptial agreement, but spent every penny on his defense.
Prosecution witnesses in the predominantly circumstantial case included three people who claimed he confessed the slaying to them — including a woman who slept with him at the same time he was romancing Generosa Ammon.
A former co-worker testified that Pelosi had told him a year earlier about his plans to get Ammon's money by romancing the millionaire's wife and then killing her husband.
"I'll bash his brains in while he's sleeping," Pelosi allegedly said.
In one of the trial's most dramatic moments, Pelosi's own father voluntarily testified for the prosecution that, hours after the killing, his son sought his advice on disposing of something so it would never be found.
Ammon ran the private equity firm Chancery Lane Capital and was chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Pelosi could face 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing was set for Jan. 25.
Pelosi faces additional charges of attempting to intimidate and tamper with prosecution witnesses. Prosecutors also alleged there was evidence that he made efforts to reach out to a juror.
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