Friday, 23 Feb 2024

Man shot classmate, kidnapped girlfriend and killing another with samurai sword

A man has confessed to killing two people including a former classmate whose girlfriend he then kidnapped.

Peter Mafredonia pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping charges following a crime spree in 2020 that led to a six-day manhunt across multiple US states.

The 26-year-old from Connecticut had attacked two people with a sword, killing one of them, two days before shooting a former high school classmate, kidnapping his girlfriend and stealing a car.

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Manfredonia had already pleaded guilty to the murder involving the sword earlier this month, as well as wounding another person.

The violent crime spree preceded a six-day search across several states before officers eventually caught up with Manfredonia in Maryland.

Manfredonia will be sentenced in April but has agreed to accept a 55-year sentence as part of a plea deal.

“Peter and I explored various defences and this was Peter’s choice on how to resolve the case,” attorney Michael Dolan told reporters after the latest hearing.

Police and prosecutors said Manfredonia killed Ted DeMers, 62, and seriously wounded an 80-year-old man who lost several fingers and part of his ear in a Samurai sword attack in Connecticut on May 22, 2020.

It has not been established why Manfredonia attacked the pair, although an acquaintance of Manfredonia’s lived near DeMers’ home and told police she had recently stopped seeing him.

After the sword attack, police said Manfredonia broke into another man’s house in Willington and held him hostage for about 24 hours before taking off with his truck and firearms.

The man later told police that Manfredonia told him “he just flipped.”

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Two days later, Manfredonia went to Derby, Connecticut, to the home of a high school friend, Nicholas Eisele, 23, and fatally shot him, authorities said.

Manfredonia then forced Eisele’s girlfriend into her car and fled the state, police said.

After Manfredonia let the woman go near Columbia in New Jersey, investigators tracked him to north-eastern Pennsylvania, where police said he took an Uber to a Walmart.

Authorities searched the area but didn’t find him. A man fitting his description was later spotted near Scranton, Pennsylvania, prompting another search there.

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Police believe Manfredonia stole a car and abandoned it in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, before taking another Uber to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he was captured without incident when police spotted him near a truck stop.

Dolan said Manfredonia had been suffering from mental health issues but had been unable to get treatment because of the pandemic.

He said Manfredonia would make a statement when he is sentenced.

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