Gunshots Fired at Close Range Killed Woman, Expert Testifies
Firearms identification expert describes murder scene evidence in Tedesco trial.
Evidence from Giuseppe Tedesco's handgun and material from the sweater Alyssa Ruggieri wore the night she was killed was used to replicate the murder scene and determine how close the gunshots were fired, a firearms identification expert testified in court on Thursday, according to the New Jersey Herald.
In the second week of Tedesco's murder trial, Gerald Burkhart, of the New Jersey State Police, an expert in ballistics and firearms identification, said in his investigation he determinned Tedesco fired his gun at Ruggieri at close range, and the bullet wound to Ruggieri's abdomen was "greater than contact, but less than 12 inches," the report said.
Tedesco is accused of fatally shooting Ruggieri six times in her Durban Avenue home on March 27, 2010. According to prosecution, Tedesco used his own .25-caliber handgun, which was found bloody in his car the night of the murder.
Ruggieri was shot once in her right hand, once in her nose, once in her chin, once in her temple, once in her chest and once in her abdomen.
Earlier this week in court, the scenes from the murder were shown to the jury, where the State Police Crime Scene Unit explained that five bullets were pulled out of Ruggieri's body, including three that were found in her skull.
Det./Sgt. Rita Gallo also told the jury Wednesday that the evidence proves that the gunshots were fired at a close range.
Last week in court, both Tedesco's and Ruggieri's mothers testified, saying that the night Ruggieri was murdered they were at seperate family gatherings earlier in the night.
Tedesco had exchanged text messages with Ruggieri the night she was killed, asking her to go out with him that night for his birthday, but she denied to do so. When Tedesco drove to Ruggieri's Durban Avenue home to confront her, he shot her six times, Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Seana Pappas said at an earlier court date.
Tedesco claimed self-defense in court last week. His attorney, Anthony Iacullo, told the jury his client was defending himself when he shot and killed Ruggieri after she refused to celebrate his birthday with him, but the proseuctor said any self-defense claims were "proposterous."
The trial schedule runs through December, except Mondays and Fridays, and dates blocked out by Superior Court Judge N. Peter Conforti’s other court duties and other contingencies.
Tedesco is being held in the Sussex County jail on $1 million bail.