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Closing Arguments In Millionaire Boyfriend Murder Trial

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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Closing arguments on tap Friday in the trial of a woman accused of killing her muliti-millionaire boyfriend in Ft. Lauderdale.

Catherine Pileggi admits she shot, stabbed and beat her boyfriend, 70-year old Ronald Vinci, with a hammer at his mansion in 2011.

On Thursday, the murder charge against here was dropped, but she still faces a number of other serious charges.

Pileggi's attorneys say she suffers from battered spouse syndrome and feared for her life.

On the stand Wednesday, Pileggi testified that her boyfriend of 20-years sexually and physically abused her.

On the day of his death, June 28th, 2011, Pileggi said Vinci threatened to kill her and even pointed a loaded gun at her head. She told jurors she was in such fear she soiled herself and that was when Vinci put the gun down.

According to Pileggi, Vinci chased her up the stairs of his $3 million mansion in Fort Lauderdale, but fell and cracked his head. Pileggi reportedly helped him up to his bedroom, before cleaning the blood on stairs.

Pileggi said after bathing and changing her clothes, she noticed the gun Vinci had pointed at her was loaded.

That is when she said a mix of emotions overcame her – realizing he could have killed her at any moment – and she shot Vinci.

"Do you believe that he would have gotten up and killed you that night," asked prosecutor Brian Cavangh.

"Yes," she said.

Pileggi said a few hours later she beat him with a hammer, slashed his throat and stabbed him through the heart.

She insisted all of the damage done was in self-defense.

Prosecutors aren't convinced. They said Vinci didn't pose an imminent threat, which would make the murder legally unjustifiable.



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