BREAKING NEWS: Mark Fisher Update
On Monday, the girlfriend of the alleged triggerman in the 2003 murder of Mark Fisher ’06 testified in Brooklyn state Supreme Court that her boyfriend confessed his crime to her hours after it was committed, according to The New Jersey Herald.
Crystal Valentin, 18, said that Antonio Russo, 19, told her that Fisher’s murder was a robbery gone bad. Russo shot Fisher five times.
Police say that Valentin had been part of the “wall of silence” and a reason why the case went unsolved for so long.
The New Jersey Herald reported that Russo changed the details of the events over the two days that followed the crime. He pointed his finger at friend and fellow gang member, John Guica, 21, who is also on trial.
Both men have been charged with second-degree murder.
Prosecutors say that Russo and Guica were in a gang called “GM” or “Ghetto Mafia.” Guica had been heard two weeks prior to Fisher’s murder saying that in order to confirm members’ serious commitment to the gang, homicide was to be made a requirement.
Police say that Fisher was at a party in the Brooklyn house of Guica, who provided Russo with the gun. That night, Fisher had been at a bar in Manhattan with several other Fairfield friends when he met a young woman through Angel DiPietro ’06, who accompanied him to the Brooklyn party. The other Fairfield students went home.
Fisher was targeted after he sat on a table, instead of a chair, during the party and angered Guica. After he was shot, his body was dumped in a street, wrapped in a yellow blanket.
The New Jersey Herald reported that Valentin testified that she had been on a religious retreat when Fisher was murdered, and Russo called her to return.
Valentin said that her boyfriend yelled at and blamed her for the murder because she had not been with Russo. But later that night, Russo confessed to her that he had only intended on robbing Fisher, and it got out of hand.
The New Jersey Herald reported that Valentin said, “He [Russo] was nervous but kind of proving it to me, that he did do it.”
But he changed his story 20 hours later, telling Valentin and her mother that he didn’t commit the crime and now wanted to turn his friends in for what happened.
However, when her mother left, Valentin said that Russo said to her, “You know I did it. You know I shot him, right?”
He then told her that Guica initially shot Fisher and then he completed the murder.
On Monday, Russo mocked and laughed at Valentin in court and was warned by Supreme Court Justice Alan D. Marrus that he would be excluded from his trial if he continued. The judge had been questioning Valentin about her recent arrest involving her alleged child endangerment and crack-dealing, The New Jersey Herald said.
Valentin was questioned about lying to police when the murder occurred, and her excuse was that she was pregnant with Russo’s child and didn’t want him to go to prison. Assistant District Attorney said that Nicolazzi said Valentin never gave birth to the child, although would not release why the pregnancy ended.
The New Jersey Herald reported that Lauren Calciano, 22, also described a conversation she had with Guica and childhood friend Albert Clearly (who said Guica had told him to “keep quiet” when police questioned him).
Calciano said Guica told her that he had known that Fisher had come from money and that he was a “cocky guy.” Guica told her he gave Russo the gun.
According to Calciano, Guica said that Russo left the party with Fisher, who took a blanket from the house to keep warm.
New York police detective Dennis Murphy, who was on the case, described a conversation he heard two days after the murder. It was between Guica and his stepfather.
Murphy said the stepfather asked Guica what had happened over the weekend and Guica told him to wait and see what they had to “offer” him.
The gun has not yet been recovered, according to The Star Ledger.