Dimeo's 'ex' to testify against him in trial for Fairfield homicides
Published 9:54 am, Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Nicole Pearce will get her dying wish.
Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin Jr. on Tuesday signed an order allowing Pearce, who has terminal cancer, to testify from her hospital bed against former boyfriend Christopher DiMeo, charged with a brutal double homicide in Fairfield six years ago.
DiMeo is on trial in Bridgeport Superior Court for fatally shooting Tim and Kim Donnelly on Feb. 2, 2005, in their jewelry store on the Post Road in downtown Fairfield. If convicted of the crime, which he has confessed to, DiMeo could face the death penalty.
Pearce previously pleaded guilty to scouting the Donnelly's store for DiMeo and drawing a sketch of the inside of the store for him.
The length of her prison sentence for the participating in the crime was to depend on her testifying against DiMeo at his trial. But two weeks ago she was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer and told she only had a few months to live. Despite her illness Pearce still wants to testify against DiMeo, said Robert Berke, her lawyer.
On Thursday the prosecutors in the case, DiMeo's lawyers, DiMeo and the judge will convene in Pearce's room at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. She will be questioned by both sides and her testimony will be recorded on video to be played for the jury at DiMeo's trial.
Berke said Pearce, 29, is currently undergoing six weeks of chemotherapy.
"Her doctors are not in a position at this time to make a prognosis, but she is too ill to come to court," he said.
She had met DiMeo in California in September 2004 and ended up driving cross-country with him. Two days after the Donnelly murders they were arrested in the Ascot Motel in Atlantic City.
During a pretrial hearing Pearce testified she had only known DiMeo two weeks before she agreed to go east with him. She said she believed she loved him but it was a difficult relationship.
"He controlled my life. I couldn't go anywhere, do anything, it was all about him. There were a lot of 'I love yous,' but if he really cared he would have put me on a bus, a train and let me go home," she testified. "He wouldn't even let me wear a hat in the car."
Pearce is also facing a 20-year prison in New York after she pleaded guilty there to helping DiMeo plan the robbery of a Long Island jewelry store in which the manager was shot to death. DiMeo was sentenced to life in prison for that crime.