Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
For Immediate Release
Date: January 7, 2010
Public Information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
JURY FINDS MAN GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN DEATH OF HIS STEPFATHER
A jury today found a 22-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his stepfather in 2007.
The jury also determined that David Harrison Buzzetta used a deadly weapon – an aluminum baseball bat -- in the commission of the crime and that he was lying in wait for the victim, Paul Bonomo, who had allowed the defendant, then 19 years old, to stay at his home the night he was murdered.
The allegation of lying in wait could send Buzzetta to state prison for the rest of his life without possibility of parole.The jury’s verdict today completed the first phase of the trial against Buzzetta, who is being held in custody in the Placer County Jail in.
Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry ordered the jury to return Monday to begin a second phase to determine whether the defendant was sane when the crime was committed.
In closing statements to the jury last week and early this week, prosecutor Tracy Lunardi of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office told the jury that Buzzetta resented his stepfather for kicking him out of the house for drug use and suspicion of stealing jewelry from the home.
Following a relative’s birthday party on March 18, 2007, Bonomo, who had separated from Buzzetta’s mother, allowed his stepson to stay at his home for the night so that he wouldn’t have to find another place to sleep, Lunardi said.
Bonomo’s body was discovered alone in the home the following day at about 5:30 p.m. and Buzzetta was arrested by police shortly after as he walked up to the house.
Buzzetta’s attorney contended that the defendant was innocent and that an absence of any blood spattering on his clothing or shoes was evidence that he did not commit the killing.