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Woman Accused Of Killing Centre Island Man, Starting Fire To Cover Up Murder

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Nassau County police reported an arrest in a deadly Centre Island fire Friday.

Jennifer Gross (Credit: Nassau County Police)

A man was found dead after the November 2018 fire. Investigators now say it was arson, CBS2's Marc Liverman reports.

Police and firefighters were sent to a home on Centre Island Drive just after 10 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2018.

After the fire was extinguished, investigators found the body of 75-year-old James Coppola.

On Friday, police announced that 54-year-old Jennifer Gross, of Long Beach, had been arrested in connection to the investigation.

"Two sides to every story. The truth will come out in court," Gross said as police escorted her to a squad car Saturday morning.

Watch: Police Offer New Information In Deadly Centre Island Fire Investigation --


Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick says Gross and Coppola were in a romantic relationship for many years.

"They had a very contentious relationship with violence and stealing of money," Fitzpatrick said.

According to investigators, Gross went to Coppola's home to confront him over money, and the two got into a physical fight. Gross allegedly beat Coppola using a pot or a pan from the kitchen, killing him.

Fitzpatrick says Gross set the house on fire in an attempt to cover up the alleged murder and left the scene in a taxi.

Gross allegedly stole jewelry from Coppola's home before setting the fire and later pawned it.

She is facing murder and arson charges.

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