A duo went to rob a home of money and drugs. When a grandmother encountered them, she was hacked to death with a machete.
Now, the man who killed the elderly woman will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
This month in New York, a judge sentenced Benjamin Lopez, 27, to life in prison, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. He was convicted of first-degree murder and a host of other counts during a trial in June.
Co-defendant DeAngelo Gill previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 17 years behind bars.
On Sept. 13, 2017, the two broke into a home in Levittown, New York seeking revenge on Mark Depperman, according to prosecutors. The two planned to steal his money and marijuana.
They went into the home and encountered 73-year-old Laraine Pizzichemi.
Lopez then hacked the elderly woman to death with a machete and the two then went through the home looking for money and drugs, prosecutors aid.
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Depperman returned home with the robbers still inside, according to prosecutors. He was attacked with the machete, causing serious physical injury. Lopez also threatened Depperman with a handgun.
He gave them money from the safe and the suspects left.
Depperman called 911 and police responded. The two suspects were arrested as they tried to flee Lopez’s home in a car, prosecutors said.
“Benjamin Lopez was after one thing when he broke into a Levittown home five years ago: revenge,” District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said. “Lopez, looking to steal a former friend’s money and drugs, took his rage out on Laraine Pizzichemi, hacking her to death with a machete in a fit of ruthless violence. Laraine was still weakened from a fight with pancreatic cancer when she was attacked, and unable to defend herself from Lopez’s blows. This vicious killer showed no remorse and will now pay for his crimes with a life sentence.”
Pizzichemi’s family spoke to CBS New York after the verdict. They said that Depperman still can’t use his left hand. Family members added there was a grudge over money and drugs, but that it’s not a reason to kill.
"It's the end of a terrible, terrible five years," said Thomas Dorsa, the son-in-law of Pizzichemi, according to CBS New York.
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