RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- A Long Island electrician was convicted yesterday of bludgeoning to death his girlfriend's estranged millionaire husband while he slept.
Capping an eight-week trial filled with tales of adultery and family betrayal, a jury found 41-year-old Daniel Pelosi guilty of murdering investment banker Theodore Ammon in his $10 million East Hampton mansion in 2001. Ammon was struck more than 30 times in the head.
Pelosi married Ammon's widow, Generosa, three months after the slaying, although they later split. He received $2 million in a postnuptial agreement, but spent every penny on his defense. Generosa Ammon died of cancer last year.
Pelosi faces 25 years to life at his sentencing Jan. 25.
As the verdict was read, he closed his eyes and sat down with his hands on his face.
''This has to be the most difficult day of his life," defense lawyer Gerald Shargel said. ''He was optimistic up to the last moment." Pelosi plans to appeal.
The jury deliberated over three days. The largely circumstantial case included the testimony of three people who contended that Pelosi confessed to them, including a woman who slept with Pelosi at the same time he was involved with Generosa Ammon.
Another witness testified that Pelosi had told him a year earlier about his plans to get Ammon's money by romancing his wife and then killing him. ''I'll bash his brains in while he's sleeping," Pelosi allegedly said. In one of the most dramatic moments, Pelosi's own father testified voluntarily for the prosecution that hours after the killing, his son had sought advice on how to dispose of something so it could never be found.
Ammon, 52, ran the private equity firm Chancery Lane Capital and was chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He had homes in London and Manhattan along with the Long Island mansion.
''I had nothing to do with Ted Ammon's murder whatsoever," Pelosi insisted on the stand.
Pelosi faces additional charges of attempting to intimidate and tamper with prosecution witnesses.