Man Arraigned in NJ Lover's Slaying

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The married lover of a missing New Jersey woman was ordered held on bail Friday after prosecutors alleged he struck her on the head, stuffed her chopped-up body in a suitcase and dumped it in a pond. Investigators believe Rosario DiGirolamo killed Amy Giordano with a blunt object in her apartment last June, then sawed her body into pieces, prosecutor Tom Meidt said in court.

"He had to use a hack saw to get the job done," he said.

DiGirolamo, 33, was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

He was arrested after Giordano's skeletal remains were found last weekend in a remote pond in Staten Island, N.Y., with the help of John A. Russo Jr., an alleged accomplice who has been speaking with investigators.

Russo was expected to soon face his own arraignment for evidence tampering.

According to prosecutors, Russo helped DiGirolamo buy drain cleaner, reinforced garbage bags and a saw blade to use in the killing. Meidt told the judge that Russo also waited for DiGirolamo in Staten Island to help dispose of the body on June 9.

Russo's lawyer, George Vomvolakis, said Russo has known DiGirolamo since 1991 but didn't think he would actually kill anyone.

"Even when the guy bought the stuff, at no point did my client take this guy seriously," Vomvolakis said.

DiGirolamo and Giordano, 27, have a year-old son, who is now in foster care. Giordano was last heard from on June 8. The next day, the boy was found abandoned in the parking lot of Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

DiGirolamo has since admitted he left the child, even as he argues through his lawyer that he had nothing to do with Giordano's disappearance. He already had pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and child abandonment.

Meidt said DiGirolamo killed his mistress because he could no longer afford to support two households. He would face a prison term of 30 years to life if convicted of murder and evidence tampering.

His lawyer, Jerome Ballarotto, said DiGirolamo planned to fight the charges.

"The state's case is extremely circumstantial," Ballarotto said. "It's based on statements made by individuals whose veracity and credibility have not been tested in any way whatsoever."

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