January 29, 2009
Posted: 11:34 AM ET
LAWRENCE, Massachusetts–Sean Fitzpatrick’s retrial has begun in the same Massachusetts courthouse where he was tried last August for two counts of first-degree murder. Fitzpatrick is accused of killing his former lover’s husband and a co-worker in March 2006.
Sean Fitzpatrick The first trial ended in a deadlock after the jury couldn’t decide if Fitzpatrick shot Michael Zammitti Jr. in the head as he sat at his desk and his employee, Chester Roberts, who apparently had just arrived at the concrete business Zammitti owned.
The first trial ended in a deadlock after the jury couldn’t decide if Fitzpatrick shot Michael Zammitti Jr. in the head as he sat at his desk and his employee, Chester Roberts, who apparently had just arrived at the concrete business Zammitti owned.
Opening statements were followed by the testimony of Michael Zammitti Sr., who relived that tragic morning. He described how he found his son slumped at his desk and Roberts lying on the floor at the entrance, shot in the back. Zammitti Sr. ran out of the building screaming and called 911.
Michele Zammitti, wife of the victim, testified on Monday. She repeated the story of her brief affair with Fitzpatrick during a rocky time in her marriage, but said she was committed to saving the marriage and ended the affair with Fitzpatrick in August 2005. Fitzpatrick continued to try to see her, especially when she and her family were at their second home in Freedom, New Hampshire where Fitzpatrick lived year round.
Just as they did in the first trial, this week jurors visited the site of the shooting in Wakefield, MA.
The Commonwealth’s evidence is the same with the exception of an additional witness, a Ford Motor Co. engineer, who is expected to say that the grainy security camera that captured a green truck arriving and leaving Allstate Concrete on March 13, 2006 is consistent with a Ford model 150 pickup truck. That’s the same make and color of the truck the Commonwealth says Fitzpatrick used to commit the double murder.
A transponder on the windshield of a green Ford 150 pickup truck belonging to Fitzpatrick’s New Hampshire neighbor also shows that tolls were paid going from New Hampshire to Massachusetts and back the day of the murders, March 13, 2006. The owner of that truck was in Florida for the winter and did not authorize anyone to use it.
The defense says Fitzpatrick didn’t do it. His attorney is expected to argue that there were others with a motive to kill the president of Allstate Concrete and that the police didn’t do enough to investigate other potential killers. Fitzpatrick testified in the first trial but his attorney will not say whether he’ll take the stand this time around.
The trial is in the same Woburn, MA courthouse though in a different courtroom, and the players are the same. Judge Kathe Tuttman is presiding, Daniel Bennett is leading the prosecution team and attorney Randy Gioia is defending Fitzpatrick. The trial should last another two weeks.
–Beth Karas, In Session correspondent
Filed under: Trial tracker
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