A multi-million-dollar murder mystery that has spanned the Atlantic turned a new page last night when prosecutors in New York revealed they were set to file charges today against a former electrician who married the widow of the victim and moved with her to England.
Lawyers for Daniel Pelosi, 40, said he would plead not guilty at a court hearing in Long Island this morning where he is expected to be charged formally with the October 2001 killing of former Wall Street financier Ted Ammon. Mr Ammon was reportedly worth more than $55m upon his death.
Mr Pelosi was under the shadow of media speculation almost immediately after the body of Mr Ammon was found bludgeoned on the floor of his mansion in East Hampton, a resort town of the very wealthy on Long Island. The rumours multiplied when he married Generosa Ammon soon after the killing.
The saga did not stop with the surprise wedding, however. The newlyweds moved to Cranleigh, in Surrey, only to see their marriage quickly crumble. The pair moved back to America, where Ms Ammon was diagnosed with cancer and she and Mr Pelosi split soon afterwards. She died last year.
Yesterday's announcement came after murder charges against Mr Pelosi were handed down by a Grand Jury after a prolonged investigation. "An indictment has been filed by a special grand jury," the Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota confirmed.
Mr Pelosi received $1.1m from Ms Ammon in a post-nuptial agreement but nothing more from her will upon her death, aged 46, last August. He has always maintained his innocence in the murder case and is expected to do so again in court today. "We'll be there and we're planning to plead an emphatic not guilty," Gerald Shargell, one of his defence lawyers, said.
A post-mortem examination at the time found that Mr Ammon, who was a general partner in the high-profile investment firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, KKR, had died after his head had been caved in by a heavy instrument. He and his wife were close to concluding a bitter divorce at the time of his murder.
Investigators soon determined that Mr Pelosi, who had had previous entanglements with police including drunken driving arrests, had supervised the installation of a new electronic security system at the Long Island home of Mr Ammon where his body was found.
Further controversy erupted in the case on the death of Ms Ammon. In her will she gave the custody of her 12-year-old twins to a British nanny who had been hired while the family had been in Cranleigh. The nanny, Kathryn Ann Mayne, gained control of the money left in a trust for the children. She also received a gift of $640,000 from her former employer.
Ms Ammon's sister has since been trying to wrest the custody of the children from Ms Mayne in the courts. Simultaneously, Mr Pelosi has been contesting the will of his ex-wife, contending its validity and seeking a much larger share of her estate.
In court papers released last August, New York state Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle said that a suspect in the killing owned a laptop computer that was used to access a security system in Ammon's mansion on the weekend of the death.
While Justice Doyle did not name Mr Pelosi, he wrote, "the individual who is a target of this investigation married the widow of the murder victim".Reuse content