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January 29, 2009

Fitzpatrick retrial on murder charge underway

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.


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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John Lennon   January 29th, 2009 3:24 pm ET

I wish we could watch this trial instead of the boring fire trial that the defendant probably never did.

steve steffen   January 29th, 2009 3:56 pm ET

I concur with Lennon's comment!

Keleigh   January 29th, 2009 3:57 pm ET

I hope Fitzpatrick is acquitted this time around.

sam delgado   January 29th, 2009 4:24 pm ET


P. Chavez   January 29th, 2009 4:26 pm ET

Has the State of Mass. passed any new laws to make audio & video tapes of all interviews with suspects manditory? Seems they have a real problem with this.

Dave Cal   January 29th, 2009 5:42 pm ET

Fitzpatrick is as guilty today as he was on the day of March 13, 2006. What other evidence is necessary to convict this scumbag? The toll records and his DNA in the truck should be enough. Even his best friend drropped him after he heard the evidence and was was asked to nudge a friend to lie to the police. The note sent to the Zammiti family with his DNA and fingerprints should do it. How can anyone believe this murderer?

John Lennon   January 29th, 2009 6:14 pm ET

I hope your right Keleigh!! I don`t know if you watched the whole trial or not, but if you did, i think it was the Zammitti Sr.s nephew that had the money law suit. That guy had a look on him while he was being questioned that was about as evil as can be!!! The only other person i think is Michele had the job done. What do you think?? I`d have to say that Sean could have had alot better than her!!

G. Lesiak   January 29th, 2009 6:57 pm ET

Sean did the killings. There are so many pieces of evidence that are so unique they can only make sense for Sean F. as the shooter. I have seen other reports and analyses, also.
Circumstantial evidence is absolutely valid. Better than three people saying" I was there and I saw it" because they could be mistaken, lying, and have hidden reasons to say so. Even if you personally saw it....well, how certain could you be of an identity, and why are you saying so....why were You there..why should a jury believe you? Most killers plan for noone to be there.
However if 6, 8, 10, 12 unusual date time place eventsand evidence happen and lt revolves around a single person...who could make all that up?

I was on a murder trial jury once. Of course, no direct witness or clear fingerprints or blood on someone's hands after the police arrived and the gun was never found....but the killer was convicted. The jury did have a trace of blood on clothing, gun shells, motive, drugs, an alibi that was suspect etc etc. Mostly it was all the small details that fit and pointed to one man. No one should get away with killing someone.

Teresa, OH   January 29th, 2009 7:45 pm ET

Of course he did it. I am amazed at the number of people who must be killed in order for another person to get a "piece".

@John Lennon: while the fire trial is boring... it must be dealt with, people died, someone must pay. I will say this: the lady on trial styles her hair in more ways than I ever have.

Sad cases.

chilynsha   January 29th, 2009 8:19 pm ET

I wonder if they deadlock this time if the da gets another chance or what. even if he did it he beet the odds in trial the first time and there is no more real evidence been introduced so let this man go

Keith   January 29th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Why isn't Court/Tru Tv in Phoenix Az., following the trial of Dale Hausner and Sam Dieteman, the notorious serial shooter/murderers?

Don Ragan   January 29th, 2009 11:04 pm ET

I would love to see this trial.
The Hilton trial is a disgrace to the justice system.

Shayleen   January 29th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

TRU TV get it together! It seem's everyone is unhappy with your current programming. I guess it's too much to ask to at least get daily updates on Spector's retrial. It's like a station that would run only the first part of a two part series! LAME and so is TRU TV!

dawn swauger   January 30th, 2009 10:28 am ET

The arson case is boring and dragging out. I'd like to see Sean Fitzgeralds trial; I hope he gets aquitted this time and can move on with his life, there's not enough evidence to convict this man.

Donna   January 30th, 2009 10:53 am ET

I wish we could see the retrial as well.I have no intrest at all in the Hilton trial>

Mildred Johnson   January 30th, 2009 10:58 am ET

How very sad this all it. I only hope that the jury can reach a verdict this time.

Mildred Johnson   January 30th, 2009 10:58 am ET

How very sad this all is. I only hope that the jury can reach a verdict this time. OOPS first time. Sorry.

Becca   January 30th, 2009 6:06 pm ET

I believe there is alot of circumstantial evidence against SF,however
is it good enough to convict him. I would love to go to this trial. I am getting more interested in the Hilton trial.

Christina Johnson   January 31st, 2009 7:44 pm ET

I watched the whole trial, wife knows more than she is telling.When she would answer a question she would look up,like did I say what you wanted to hear.He was moving away...nope he was not the one

Kadrmas21   February 1st, 2009 1:34 am ET

Yes, I hope Sean gets acquitted too. He is an innocent man. It is painfully obvious. It is really sad how some folks think he is guilty just because he had an affair with the victims wife.

terri   February 1st, 2009 5:35 am ET

I think this poor man is guilty, but he seems so naive and gullible. I think that woman led that poor man on and got what she wanted from him and then dumped him like yesterday's trash. I think this was probably one of the very few times in this man's life where he loved somebody and actually thought they loved him back. I think he thought he might actually have a future with this conniving piece of trash and when it didn't work out that way, he just lost it. I think she played with his head and his heart and just tore him to pieces. It doesn't excuse what he did, but I think she should be sitting in the chair right beside him. Even in court the last time when they would show her testifying or crying she just seemed to scream out "phoney!" to me.

John Lennon   February 2nd, 2009 4:31 pm ET

@ Teresa OH. Believe me, your not telling nothing i don`t allready know. I know the fire trial needs to be delt with but it seems like it`s being dragged out way too long. I`m sorry that you think sean is guilty but i don`t like that the cops focused on him alone. As i stated in a prior comment, that they really need to look at the Zammitti`s nephew that sued Zammitti sr. and was not happy with the outcome of that lawsuit. If you saw the whole case, try to remember that part and rethink how you feel. Try not to decide as quick as those cops of Mass.Reply if you`d like.

finicky12001   February 2nd, 2009 4:40 pm ET

This arson trial is terrible. the most bopring trial they have ever shown. Th only thing to be said about it is the ten years wait and that has been discussed to death. PLEASE go to a better trial. There are several good ones going on.I am sick of this one!!! and I bet so are your other viewers. Why are we not seeing this one????

nikkixxoo1999   February 3rd, 2009 11:57 am ET

I think he is sneaky low-life. He LOVES himself totally. He couldn't
stand the fact that michelle wouldn"t ; leave her husband for him.


Johnny Jonson   February 3rd, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Have people gone completely mad? Of course this man is guilty. Look at all of the circumstantial evidence, DNA in the car, stolen vehicle passing through the toll booth before the murder took place, and of course the video surveillance camera capturing a pick up truck of similar make missing from his friends house. Terri you are right, for once this man thought that a woman would love him through an affair, and then he just lost it. What is even more ridiculous is that he thought he could get away with murdering an important business man in the area. What a loser. I hope the jury this time convicts him and locks him up for good.

nikkixxoo1999   February 3rd, 2009 3:32 pm ET

wasn't he married before? Terri I disagree, he is far from gullible. He thinks hes quite the cassanova! Did you see him on the stand at the first trial? What an idiot., he embarrased himself acting like Don Juan!

Dave Cal   February 3rd, 2009 3:35 pm ET

I have known Mike Zammitti Sr. since high school. Yes, he is a ruthless and unethical businessman. He has a reputation of not being a man of his word in business unless he was tied by a written contract. And he had taught his son the same way. They were always in disputes over business but always settled the differences with the other parties. Socially, you couldn't have better friends.This murder was not about business, it was about jealousy. Sean Fitzpatrick is a scam artist and a leach. He has no job and would be deemed a beach bum here in Florida. There has been no mention of his house burning to the ground for the second time for insurance purposes. One thing that I'm surprised at is that the DA never called the neighbor who's car was repaired on that day to verify the time of pick-up or the mechanic who repaired the car the day before. Hang this jerk>

Johnny Jonson   February 5th, 2009 1:21 am ET

Dave I completely agree. This man should be locked away for good. I don't know anything about Zammitti Jr.'s business life, but after following this trial closely the first time around, it is clear to me he is guilty. As i said before there is too much circumstantial evidence surrounding this creep, and he needs to be brought to justice. I was sold on the toll booth records and the video surveillance records the first time around. The addition of the FBI automobile professional will only help. This man deserves to be put away.

Kadrmas21   February 5th, 2009 3:59 pm ET

Johnny, I have a feeling you would be 'sold' if someone was even accused of a crime. The video survillance records prove nothing. Sean was no where in those tapes, nor was he shown to have paid a toll. A truck that was similiar in apperance to that of a neighbors was seen but there are plenty of similiar trucks in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Circumstancial evidence is called circumstancial for a reason, it is because it is not solid. It opens the door to innuendo and speculation from folks such as yourself. In my opinion, Sean Fitzpatrick is not the one that did this crime. Of course you have people out there that believe everyone is guilty when accused and you guys probably believe he is guilty because he happend to have a short lived affair with Zamitti's wife.

joyce   February 8th, 2009 4:33 pm ET

Did anyone ever notice the truck was missing? If he stole the truck why did noone say they saw it was gone. I was less than impressed with the wife. Hope he gets off

Jean   February 9th, 2009 7:42 am ET

I agree this Hlton trial is boring. At least it is better than seeing a previous trial 3 times. There is little information out there on this
Fitzpatrick retrial.

L   February 9th, 2009 10:08 am ET

Why is there no further EZPass evidence? We went through an Ezpass by accident one time with no transponder. We got a ticket in the mail with a pic of our license plate and the full backside of our truck. Seems to me like there should be some sort of camera that could have caught who was driving that truck. This trial just needs to be done with so everyone involved can grieve and slowly get on with thier lives. And about the comment above regarding SR teaching JR to be unethical by Dave Cal. My husband was employed by the Zammitti's and I can not say enough good things about JR and I always did. We counted on a paycheck every week and when there were no pump jobs, my husband was generally called in to work in the garage because JR knew how much we counted on him. There was not a more generous, caring employer out there who tried to do the right thing by his employees. That is why Chet was there, looking for work. Most days, he got it.

John Lennon   February 9th, 2009 7:40 pm ET

I have to agree with kadrmas21. There are a load of people out there that think all accused are guilty. Their as bad as the Mass. cops!!! Joyce also has a good question, why didn`t anyone notice the truck missing??? Gert across the street claimed to see everything that went on and the prosecution attorney thought she was such a good witness but she didn`t even see that. The Mass. cops are just looking for an easy target and their using Sean for that. Even if the jury finds him guilty, i still won`t believe it.I just hope he doesn`t have a jury like O.J. had!!!! I enjoyed reading your comments kadrmas21 and joyce!!!

Henrietta Dillon   February 10th, 2009 2:11 pm ET

Unbelievable...if any of you had ever spent 5 minutes with would just be saying prayers that justice is served. The inside track from Wakefield is that Michelle was very much involved and the SF is 100% behind it ...provoked or not. Rest in peace Michael...may your children live in your footsteps and may your parents find solace in your memory. You are missed.

paul   February 13th, 2009 9:45 am ET

L your comments r right on about the zammittis SR & JR r the best people u will ever meet. JR would do anthing for eneyone. I worked for the zammittis for over 20 years iam still there today with SR helping him with anything he needs. I think about JR every day. This hole thing is tearing SR apart .SR wife is a saint she holds him together and keeps him going every day and now there grand kids r there life. i think in the bottom of my heart michelle knows everything. i miss JR so much JR rest in pease LOVE YOU PAUL

bgad   February 13th, 2009 12:23 pm ET

In response to Dave Cal – with every unfortunate story there are always two sides. But it is important when you comment on specifics that you have the facts. Your comment regarding Sean Fitzpatrick's homes being burned down for "insurance purposes" is untrue. The first fire was a legitament accident and found so by the insurance company – otherwise there would not have been any partial payment to help rebuild the home - they don't pay for arson. The second fire actually happened while Sean was in jail and was considered arson. The person responsible left everything they used to set the fire on the front porch. The footprints in the snow from the front porch, where the items were placed, led to the Zammitti's property. Who's to say whether it was them or someone trying to make it look like them. You nor I do not know the answer to that. What I do know to be fact is that – Sean will receive absolutely nothing for the second fire because there was no insurance. When the Zammitti's filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sean they also had a freeze put on all of his accounts. So... freeze on accounts, no access, no money, no payments. Thus the insurance policy on the home was lapsed and the home was not covered by insurance neither were the contents or anything that Sean owns. So right now Sean has a piece of land and the clothes that he was arrested in. Just wanted to clear up fact from fiction. Thanks for listening.

norm vahey   February 17th, 2009 11:00 am ET

at last somebody understands insurance {bgad how many more years does SF have to set around waiting for justice he's been waiting
more than two year his only crime was falling for the wrong women
I think all men can remember somebody like her out for what she can get rather it be from JR she didn't want while she was with him. except
for love which SFtried to fill that void and she except remember even the boys called him uncle sean this doesn't happen with one vist
to her home they just didn't sit around talking all day even michelle
amitted that and it does seem like in seccions could keep us posted
they did bring SF to are attention and now seems to have turned him out into the cold JR was not the target!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

laura mchugh   February 18th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

does anybody know if sean fitzpatrick 2nd trail has started in woburn court, and when did it start, and expect it end

bgad   February 20th, 2009 10:13 am ET

Sean Fitzpatrick found GUILTY on BOTH counts Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM. Sentencing will be held Monday, February 23, 2009.
In response to Laura McHugh - Started jury selection January 20, 2009. First day of trial was January 23, 2009. Cases rested and went to juror deliberations on February 10, 2009. Jurors reported back that it was a hung jury on February 17, 2009 also a "man" juror was complaining of back problems and was not going to be present on February 18, 19, or 20th. The judge excused him and replaced him with an alternate "female" juror. She instructed the jurors to go back into deliberations and start all over again! She informed them not to consider any info that they had discussed over the past 5 days. In ONE day with the new "female" juror they changed their mind from deadlocked to guilty. Very bizarre.....deadlocked for 5 days, new juror, guilty in a day. Not much thought on the new juror's part to put someone a way for life. I know I could not determine someones fate and review over 140 pieces of evidence and speculation in one day.

G. Lesiak   February 21st, 2009 11:22 pm ET

To bgad :(and others, Dave, fuzzy, Johnnny..)

I was on a jury...usually, if there is a hang by one or a few jurors, there are just one or two items that are not resolved. Most everyone has come to firm decisions. And everyone wants to be sure in their own conscience.
If someone can elicit the hangup and find a solid reasonable clarification, the hangup is resolved . This happened.

Also, I read that that the Judge gave a clarifying answer to the jurors question about circumstantial /direct evidence:circumstantial evidence must be consistent and reasonble; and is acceptable legally. One or more jurors may have been reluctant to credit, accept circumstantial evidence as they had once been cautioned about the threatening note with Sean's DNA sent to Michael Sr..that he "close Now or Lose More Family"...which Sean admitted he sent. This is a cruel person, is Sean, to send that to a Father of a son just killed...

.Also, the alternate jurors are present for the entire trial, except they have not sat in for the final deliberations. I believe the jury foreman and jurors simply each told the new juror what they each believed and they voted...

IMO I would not want an innocent man found guilty, but justice also demands that the guilty not go free...two innocent men were murdered that day in March 2006.

I have been happy to read this blog, especially those written by New Hampshire and Massachusetts people who knew the Giamettis and SF. We are all safer without Sean on the loose.

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