peter manfredonia

Peter Manfredonia Pleads Not Guilty to New Murder Charges

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The 23-year-old University of Connecticut student charged with murder in Willington appeared by video conference to face charges of murder in the death of his childhood friend in Derby.

Peter Manfredonia was charged Monday with murdering Nicholas Eisele on May 24 and with kidnapping Eisele's girlfriend and forcing her to drive him to New Jersey.

He pleaded not guilty to the new charges and was held on a $7 million bond, which is in addition to the $5 million bond he was already being held on.

Manfredonia, who is also accused of killing 62-year-old Ted DeMers in Willington on May 22, ended up at Eisele's Derby apartment on May 24 where he shot and killed Eisele, according to an arrest affidavit. Eisele and Manfredonia grew up together in Newtown.

Eisele's girlfriend told police she woke up that Sunday morning around 5:45 a.m. and heard Eisele saying "relax" and "calm down" loudly from the living room, according to the warrant. When she asked if everything was OK, Eisele said Peter Manfredonia was in the apartment and she should call 911, the warrant states she told police.

As the girlfriend grabbed her cellphone to dial 911, she told police Manfredonia and Eisele came through the bedroom door and Manfredonia grabbed the cellphone from her hand.

She said she ran into the living room and then heard shots. She screamed, and Manfredonia told her to "shut up."

The girlfriend told police Manfredonia admitted to shooting Eisele in the head and that he was dead, according to the arrest affidavit.

Manfredonia took approximately $5,000 to $7,000 that was in the apartment and kidnapped Eisele's girlfriend, according to the warrant.

He made her drive on back roads through Newtown, and they eventually ended up in Columbia, New Jersey, where they pulled into a truck stop. Manfredonia asked some people there to help him secure an Uber to Pennsylvania. Once he did that, he left Eisele's girlfriend in her car, and she told someone at the truck stop that she had been kidnapped and that Manfredonia had killed someone in Connecticut, the warrant stated.

An attorney for Eisele's girlfriend, Eugene Riccio, read a statement from his client in court:

"I would like to thank the Connecticut State Police, Eastern and Central Major Crimes Divisions, the FBI, Derby PD, New Jersey State Police, Hope Barracks, and all the other law enforcement agencies that assisted in bringing Peter Manfredonia into custody alive. The hard work, dedication, and continuous efforts of all will not go unnoticed. I also want to thank the good Samaritan at the New Jersey truck stop who helped get me to safety. The healing process cannot begin until we can be assured that justice has been served and Peter Manfredonia is held accountable for his actions that altered and destroyed the lives of both Nick, myself, and countless others. Nicholas Eisele will forever be remembered as a loving, protective boyfriend, but also a hero, following his own selfless actions on that day. If there is a face or a name to be remembered, it should be his. We can never erase the pain, heartache, and trauma that occurred as a result of Manfredonia's actions on May 24. But we will insist that Peter Manfredonia is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that justice for all victims is served."

Manfredonia was captured in Hagerstown, Maryland, after a multi-state manhunt five days after the initial attack.

Peter Manfredonia faced a Connecticut judge for the first time today for his arraignment on murder charges

He was returned to Connecticut on June 12 and was charged with the Willington murder. Manfredonia has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Manfredonia now also faces charges of murder, felony murder and first-degree kidnapping in connection with Eisele's death and the kidnapping of his girlfriend.

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