Thursday, 4:30 PM
Inheritance murder trial starts
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
DEDHAM -- The first-degree murder trial of Thomas Lally began today in Norfolk Superior Court, where a prosecutor said the Norton man killed an 84-year-old woman inside her Quincy home in 2002 using a cast iron frying pan, a yellow tea kettle, and his own hands.
Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Susan Stanziani-Corcoran told jurors that Lally smashed the frying pan into the head of Marina Calabro with such force that he broke the handle. The 24-year-old Lally allegedly then hit Calabro with a yellow tea kettle and then broke her neck with his hands.
Stanziani-Corcoran alleged Lally killed Calabro at the behest of her great-nephew, Anthony Calabro, who wanted to collect his inheritance immediately instead of waiting for the retired hairdresser who doted on him to die of natural causes. Calabro has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a separate trial.
A third conspirator, Jason Weir, has agreed to testify against Lally in return for a reduced sentence of 10 years in prison. Weir faced life imprisonment without parole as does Lally if he is convicted.
Lally's defense attorney, Robert M. Griffin, told jurors in his opening statement that Weir is the real killer, not Lally. Griffin also alleged that the forensic and medical evidence collected by prosecutors is flawed and unreliable.