Woburn, Mass. – August 20, 2008 – A New Hampshire man accused of killing his ex-lover’s husband admitted to jurors Wednesday he tried to mislead investigators by sending an anonymous threatening note to the man’s father, but denied having anything to do with the fatal shootings.
Sean Fitzpatrick told a Middlesex Superior Court jury considering double murder charges against him that he was asleep at his home in Freedom, N.H., when Michael Zammitti Jr. and handyman Chester Roberts were found fatally shot at Allstate Concrete Pumping in Wakefield.
“I was in bed. I wasn’t in Massachusetts. I certainly didn’t do this,” he said. “I had nothing to do with these homicides. Nope. No way.”
Authorities say Fitzpatrick stole Michael Zammitti’s father’s 16-gauge shotgun and a neighbor’s truck, then drove to Wakefield and killed Zammitti in a fit of jealousy after Michelle broke off their affair. They say Roberts was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Prosecutors say he walked into work right after Fitzpatrick shot Zammitti.
Fitzpatrick, 46, admitted he sent a note to Michael Zammitti’s father after the slayings. Authorities believe the note, which said, “Close Now or Lose More Family,” was sent to make investigators believe Zammitti’s slaying was related to the family business. Fitzpatrick said he sent the note because he knew he was a suspect and he wanted the police to leave him alone.
“I did not want the Zammitti family thinking anything like that … people were saying that I did it,” he said. “I felt desperate and distraught,” he said, breaking down in tears.
Fitzpatrick also admitted he lied before the killings when he told Michelle Zammitti and several friends that he was planning to move and get back together with an old girlfriend. Fitzpatrick said he hoped the story would allay suspicions Michael Zammitti’s mother had about their affair.
During cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett, Fitzpatrick said he got caught up in the lie.
“You tell one lie and you have to tell another lie,” he said. Fitzpatrick said he and the Zammitti family became friendly as neighbors in Freedom. Both Michael Zammitti and his father had vacation homes there, while Fitzpatrick was a year-round resident of the lakeside community.
He said Michael Zammitti often worked, and he began doing outdoor activities with Michelle Zammitti and the couple’s three children. The kids got to know him so well that they called him “Uncle Sean,” he said.
In 2005, Fitzpatrick said he and Michelle Zammitti began a physical relationship. He acknowledged that she repeatedly told him she would not leave her husband. Fitzpatrick repeatedly told the jury that he and Michelle Zammitti loved each other.
“This was more an affair of the heart,” he said. “It wasn’t a sexual thing.”
[WCVB-TV report via boston.com]