UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A jury found an upstate New York man accused of fatally shooting his wife and putting her body in a dumpster guilty Thursday.
An Oneida County jury deliberated for about two hours before finding 48-year-old Jason D’Avolio of Rome guilty of second-degree murder and concealment of a human corpse.
Prosecutors argued D’Avolio shot his wife, Kerrilee D’Avolio, in the back of the head with a rifle on the night of July 28, 2019 and disposed of her body in a dumpster. Authorities found her body in a landfill and the rifle in the Barge Canal in Rome.
His defense lawyer argued during closing arguments Wednesday that Kerrilee D’Avolio killed herself. Oneida County Public Defender Leland McCormac said D’Avolio sought to protect the couple’s three young daughters, so he wrapped his wife’s body in a sheet and garbage bags and hid her body in a dumpster at a nearby apartment complex, according to the Observer-Dispatch of Utica.
“The stress was so great, unexpected and completely beyond terrible,” McCormac said. “He just didn’t know how to cope. His mind was not functioning rationally at that point.”
D’Avolio faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced.