15 February 2008

A construction worker admitted in chilling detail today that he strangled indie-actress Adrienne Shelly in the Greenwich Village apartment where she worked because she caught him trying to rob her.

In his courtroom confession, 20-year old Diego Pillco, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, recounted how he choked the wife and mother with a sheet, strung her body up from a shower rod and fled – hoping to make the murder look like a suicide. Smooth operator.

The confession differed radically from what Pillco had long told cops –that he sparred verbally with Shelly after she came downstairs to complain of construction noise.

Pillco had been doing construction one floor down from Shelly, renovating an apartment where the floor was covered with gypsum dust, and was caught after cops matched his gypsum dust-caked boot bottom to a perfectly-preserved print on Shelly's toilet lid.

He admitted that robbing Shelly of her purse when she arrived at her Greenwich Village office was his real, more sinister motive – although investigative sources believe rape may have been an original motive as well, though thwarted by the violence that followed.

Shelly screamed when Pillco reached for her, he said yesterday. "So out of desperation, I got scared and I covered her mouth," Pillco admitted.

"When I noticed she fell to the floor, I was very scared. When she fell to the floor, I saw a sheet, and I decided to choke her –and that's what happened."

Here, the judge interjected: "And then you tied the sheet around her neck and you strung her up?"

"Si," Pillco answered. "Yes, and I made it look like it was suicide."

Pillco will get 25 years in prison –almost certainly followed by deportation– as a result of yesterday's Manhattan Supreme Court guilty plea to first degree manslaughter.

Related: Adrienne Shelly... We love you... Get up! 31 August 2007

No comments: