Hopatcong Murder Trial to Begin Next Week
Start date scheduled for Tuesday in Sussex County Superior Court.
A start date has been scheduled in the trial of a Hopatcong man accused of killing borough resident Alyssa Ruggieri in 2010.
The trial of Giuseppe Tedesco will begin on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Sussex County Superior Court in Newton, according to the office of Judge Peter Conforti.
Jury selection, which began Sept. 12, was completed more than a month after it began. The trial schedule runs to December, excepting Mondays and Fridays, and dates blocked out by Conforti’s other court duties and other contingencies.
Tedesco, of Hopatcong, is charged with murder, illegal possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in Ruggieri’s March 27, 2010 death. If convicted, he faces a sentence of 30 years to life.
In September Iacullo, as he had in January, asked the state to consider a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter that would carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years and the possibility of a fine up to $200,000.
Pappas said the state rejected that offer.
In a January hearing Pappas said Tedesco and Ruggieri had exchanged text messages on March 27, 2010 during which Ruggieri refused to meet Tedesco, who had asked the woman to share in a birthday celebration.
When she refused, Pappas said, Tedesco took a weapon that was not registered to him from his home, drove to her Hopatcong neighborhood, and entered Ruggieri’s Durban Street home.
Inside, Pappas said, Tedesco shot Ruggieri six times, including two in the face.
In the process, he also shot himself in the hand, Pappas said. Leaving Ruggieri’s home, Pappas said, Tedesco called his home and spoke with his mother. He told her that he had shot himself “and that something might have happened at Ruggieri’s apartment,” according to Pappas.
At his home, Tedesco allegedly repeated what he told his mother, and was taken to the hospital. Only after that, Pappas said, were the police called. Police responded to Ruggieri’s home and discovered that she had been shot.