A 26-year-old Connecticut man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after a judge sentenced him to more than half a century in prison for fatally shooting his high school friend and kidnapping the victim’s girlfriend during a crime attacks in 2020. included another victim who was killed with a sword.
Milford Superior Court Judge Peter Brown on Wednesday ordered Peter Manfredonia to serve 55 years in a state prison for killing 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele and then kidnapping the man’s girlfriend, Shannon Spies.
“This was a horrific crime that shattered so many lives,” said Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney Margaret E. Kelley. “The pain and anguish that Ms. Spies and the family of Nicholas John Eisele have suffered is unfathomable. His family and Ms. Spies worked thoughtfully with the state to obtain this disposition.”
The sentences for Eisele’s murder and Spies’ kidnapping will be served concurrently, the prosecutor’s statement said.
Manfredonia still faces other misdemeanor charges in the crime spree: murdering 62-year-old Theodore DeMers with a samurai sword, wounding an 80-year-old man and then holding a homeowner hostage. That hearing is to be held on Thursday.
Eisele’s aunt told Manfredonia in a victim impact statement Wednesday that “there’s a place in hell for you Peter,” according to News 12 Connecticut reporter Marissa Alter.
Several family members gave emotional victim impact statements with their grief and anger on full display. Eisele’s aunt turned to Manfredonia after her speech as she walked back to the gallery and said, “there’s a place in hell for you Peter.” @News12CT
— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) 19 April 2023
Manfredonia reportedly apologized to the family, but said he didn’t expect them to accept it.
Authorities said the defendant, a former University of Connecticut student, committed the acts as part of an extensive multi-state crime spree.
On May 22, 2020, Manfredonia’s motorcycle broke down in Willington, Connecticut. DeMers offered him a ride; Manfredonia attacked him in return. The victim’s 80-year-old neighbor tried to help save him, but Manfredonia also attacked him. He then held a local homeowner hostage for 24 hours.
“I asked if he wanted to talk about what happened with the murder and he told me he hadn’t slept in five days and he just turned over,” the homeowner said of Manfredonia, according to police in a News-Times report . “He said he didn’t know why he did it and that he was remorseful.”
But authorities said Manfredonia fled with that homeowner’s truck and firearm to Eisele’s home in the town of Derby, Connecticut. Prosecutors said he fatally shot Eisele, a former high school classmate, and kidnapped Spies.
“Court records show Manfredonia fled Connecticut with the boyfriend and held her captive at gunpoint for more than seven hours before authorities found her unharmed at a rest stop in New Jersey,” authorities said. “Local, state and federal authorities searched for Manfredonia before arresting him in Maryland on May 27, 2020.”
Spies mourned Eisele, saying he “will forever be remembered as a loving, protective boyfriend, but also a hero,” according to The Connecticut Post in a July 2020 report.
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
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