Alleged murder cohort cleared of most serious charge
After two days of deliberations, a split verdict was handed down Friday evening in the trial of Carmela Magnetti, who was accused of helping her best friend carry out and cover up the murder of her mother.
Magnetti was cleared of criminal facilitation, which could have carried a sentence of 15 years. However, she was found guilty of two lesser charges, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, and still faces up to seven years in prison.
Ted Brundage, a defense attorney representing Magnetti, said he was "pleased the jury accepted my view of the evidence."
Magnetti's friend, Anna Trovato, was convicted of second-degree murder for killing her mother, Patricia Mery, in her Ossining home in 2006. Prosecutors contended that Magnetti drove Trovato to the home knowing Trovato intended to kill her mother. They also accused Magnetti of helping to clean up the crime scene.
The defense had maintained that Trovato and Magnetti had nothing to do with the murder and were merely scapegoats for the police, who botched the investigation.
Mery's family was incensed at the decision. "I feel absolutely disgusted," says Mike May, a nephew of Mery.
Magnetti was released on bail Friday. Her sentencing date is Dec. 2.