VERNON, Conn. (TCD) — A Tolland District Court judge sentenced a 26-year-old man to over five decades in prison for killing a 62-year-old man with a samurai sword, fatally shooting his best friend, and several other crimes.
On Thursday, April 20, the Tolland County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Peter Manfredonia received a 55-year sentence for the slaying of Theodore DeMers, 20 years for assault, and 25 years for home invasion after pleading guilty in February. The judge determined the terms will run concurrently.
One day before that sentencing, a judge in Ansonia-Milford District Court also sentenced Manfredonia to 55 years for fatally shooting his friend Nicholas Eisele and kidnapping Eisele’s girlfriend.
The charges all stem from a series of incidents that began May 22, 2020. According to Manfredonia’s arrest warrant, at approximately 9 a.m. that day, Connecticut State Police responded to a call on Mirtl Road in Wilington about two adult males bleeding in the middle of the road and found DeMers and 80-year-old John Franco with lacerations on their bodies. One of the victims lost a limb.
DeMers died on his way to the hospital. Franco underwent surgery and survived. Troopers located a samurai sword with blood on it in the woods nearby.
Two days later, on May 24, at 6:43 a.m., Connecticut State Police troopers discovered an abandoned white Ford F-150 truck that looked as if it tried to enter a field but “got hung up on large rocks that were obscured by tall grass.” Troopers went to the home where the vehicle was registered and found a 74-year-old man tied to a chair in his basement.
The man told police he woke up May 23 to a man holding him at gunpoint, and the suspect zip-tied his hands and put duct tape over his eyes and mouth. The suspect later positively identified himself as Manfredonia. The 74-year-old said he asked Manfredonia why he killed DeMers, and Manfredonia told him he “hadn’t slept for five days and that he just flipped.”
Manfredonia later fled the home and stole the man’s car.
Several hours later, at 11 a.m., Connecticut State Police got a call that Manfredonia’s friend, 23-year-old Eisele, was killed in his Derby apartment. He had been shot to death. Investigators learned Manfredonia kidnapped Eisele’s girlfriend, took her car, and drove them to New Jersey. He got out of the car and managed to find an Uber, but he was ultimately caught in Maryland.
Both of Manfredonia’s 55-year sentences will run concurrently.
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