Jurors hear admission of fatal beating
Investigator testifies about alleged abuse of defendant’s 4-year-old son by slain man
In telephone conversations from the Ulster County Jail in the days after he beat his father to death with a baseball bat, Nicholas Pascarella Jr. talked freely about killing his father and repeatedly asked his estranged wife if she was proud of him for what he had done.
Jurors on Wednesday heard the three taped telephone conversations between Pascarella and his former wife, Michele, during the second day of Pascarella’s retrial for murder.
Pascarella is being tried in Ulster County Court for a second time for the Dec. 27, 2014, bludgeoning death of his father, Nicholas Pascarella Sr., outside the older man’s Marlborough home. The first trial, in late March and early April, ended with a hung jury.
In one taped conversation, Pascarella was heard telling his estranged wife that when police told him his father was dead, he responded, “Thank God.” In another, he said, “I told you I would do it, and I did it,” and, “If I get a taste of freedom and you ask me to
kill somebody else, I’d do it again.”
Pascarella, 41, has admitted killing his 67-yearold father but claims he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and acted out of extreme emotional disturbance after years of abuse at the hands of the elder Pascarella and revelations that his father had sexually abused the younger Pascarella’s 4-year-old son.
Prosecutors, though, say there was no sexual abuse of the boy and that the killing was premeditated murder.
On the witness stand Wednesday, state police Senior Investigator Carmen Goffredo testified under questioning by Ulster County Assistant Public Defender MariAnn Connolly that he witnessed an interview between the child and Child Protective Services officials about the alleged abuse and the child immediately stated his grandfather touched him on his penis and rectum.
Under cross-examination by Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Kavanagh, Goffredo said it was “unusual” for a child to immediately blurt out such information.
Goffredo also testified that shortly after the initial claim of the child being abused, he set up a monitored phone call between Pascarella and his father on Feb. 24, 2014, in an attempt to elicit an admission of abuse from the older man.
Goffredo said he told Pascarella Jr. to tell his father that police had DNA and physical evidence proving the older man had abused his grandson.
“Essentially, we were trying to call his bluff,” Goffredo said.
But the elder Pascarella didn’t crack, Goffredo testified, instead saying, “It’s a lie. I never touched the kid.”
Goffredo said the abuse case was closed after authorities were unable to substantiate the claims.
On Tuesday, the defendant’s mother, Judith Pascarella, took the stand to tell jurors how she watched from an upstairs window has her son repeatedly beat her husband to death, Kavanagh said.
He said jurors also heard the 911 call Mrs. Pascarella made.
Dutchess County Medical Examiner Dr. Dennis Chute, who performed the autopsy on the elder Pascarella, testified Wednesday that he found multiple blunt-force injuries on the body, including a 4.74-inch laceration on the back of his head.
“You could see fractured skull and some brain matter coming through the scalp,” Chute said.
He said the elder Pascarella also had bruises and scrapes on both arms and scrapes on his knees.
Also taking the stand Wednesday was Anna Doxsey, who worked with Pascarella’s ex-wife at the former Determined Gym and who saw Pascarella in the hours before he killed his father.
Doxsey testified that Pascarella’s demeanor that day was that of a “normal person.”
She also said that just before noon, Pascarella called the gym and spoke to his son and briefly to his ex-wife. She said he didn’t seem upset on the phone and that Michele Pascarella didn’t seem any different after taking the call.
Authorities contend Pascarella called his former wife to tell her he had killed his father.
Testimony is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Nicholas Pascarella Jr., left, sits in Ulster County Court on Wednesday with Ulster County Assistant Public Defenders Jeffrey Provenzano and MariAnn Connolly.