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Naugatuck Teen Sentenced to 27 Years for Killing Grandmother

"I have never intended this to happen," said Angelina Jamele, 19.

Angelina Jamele, who was just 17 years old when Naugatuck police arrested her on charges of murdering her grandmother in a Pond View residence, will be in her 40s when she is finally released from prison.

Jamele was sentenced to 27 years incarceration on Friday after a lengthy hearing in Waterbury Superior Court. The teenager, now 19, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the connection with the death of her grandmother, 69-year-old Italia Liguori, in September 2009.

The Naugatuck teenager was remorseful for her actions as she read a statement before Judge Richard Damiani Friday afternoon.

“Seventeen years of hearing her voice, holding her hands in prayer, even falling asleep together… and she is no longer here,” Jamele said with tears in her eyes, adding that she now just sees her grandmother in her dreams and is saddened when she wakes up.

“I have never intended this to happen,” she said. “It was like a bad dream. It was out of my control. I was never able to see the difference between what was real and what wasn’t real.”

The Facts of the Case

The brutality of assault, as highlighted in a arrest warrant, factored into to the lengthy jail sentence.

According to police records, during the morning of Sept. 30, 2009, Naugatuck officers responded to unit 88-5 in the Lantern Park complex after getting a 911 call from Jamele, stating that her grandmother was dead downstairs. Police had to force entry through a back door, and when they got inside they found Liguori with multiple bruises and broken bones at the foot of a staircase.

Liguori was rushed to Saint Mary’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:31 a.m., police records stated. Prior to police arrival, and after the woman had died, Jamele had taken a shower, put on her grandmother’s jewelry and had prayed in her grandmother’s bedroom, according to Jamele's testimony. When officers got there, they found the teenager in her grandmother’s room, and traces of blood in the house, court records stated.

Jamele gave excuses as to what contributed to Liguori's death, stating that her grandmother had refused to take her medication for diseases like diabetes and heart disease. But on the way to the Naugatuck Police Department, Jamele had admitted to the crime and, upon arrival, gave a written statement in her own writing that she had killed her grandmother, police records said.

Jamele told police she punched Liguori, stomped on her stomach and stood on her throat. She also beat her with a cane and kicked her in the head, police said.

“Part of the reason why I did it is because we never understood each other,” the girl said in her statement to police.

Jamele further mentioned having been on drugs at the time of the assault. Now, during her court appearance, she alluded to her drug using again during her statement. She told the court she had been introduced to heroin at age 15 and that "it got so bad I would do any drugs."

According to police records, an alleged argument over towels sparked the assault on Liguori that ended in her death. After given a written statement to police, Jamele mentioned the towel part, however that was after the young woman's attorney called Naugatuck police saying she was not to comment further.

Murder Vs. Manslaughter

During Friday’s hearing, Damiani had to decide between a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 28 years in prison for the accused, as worked out in a plea agreement between the State’s Attorney’s Office and Jamele. 

According to defense Attorney Tashun Bowden-Lewis, Jamele chose to take the plea agreement rather than go to trial in her case, where a jury could decide the sentence, as she did not want to relive the horror surrounding the incident.

During the 40-minute court hearing on Friday both sides weighed in on what length of time the young woman should have to serve. Family — including Italia Liguori’s own daughter and Jamele's mother, Carmella Liguori — spoke on Jamele’s behalf, stating that she was psychotic at the time of the attack and not herself.

"She should have been charged with manslaughter, not murder," Carmella Liguori said, offering up a lesser charge that could have yielded a shorter prison sentence.

But the intent was the deciding factor, Damiani said, and ultimately the reason the young woman received the murder charge and the 25-28 year sentencing range.

“It was a brutal, vicious killing of your grandmother,” Damiani told Jamele. “If I didn’t believe that it was murder I would have asked the state to come off of the charge and push manslaughter.”

A Hard Upbringing and a Psychotic Teen

A large focus in the case centered on the teen’s sanity at the time of her arrest. The state, which argued for a murder charge over manslaughter, maintained that Jamele had shown the intent in killing Liguori.

Prosecutors acknowledge the fact that Jamele came from a hard upbringing and it was mentioned multiple times in court that the young woman’s parents were both on drugs during Jamele's younger years.

But the state still maintained that the brutality of the crime outweighed the fact that Jamele had a lack of direction growing up. For starters, the state’s attorney pointed to the fact that the girl spoke calmly to Naugatuck police dispatchers during the initial 911 call and, in the entire scope of the conversation, neglected to mention that she was complicit in her grandmother’s death.

Furthermore, Jamele took steps to cover up the crime, such as taking a shower and changing her bloody clothes following the incident, prosecutors said. And on top of that, the assault itself showed a sense of brutality, the prosecutors said, citing multiple fractured ribs Liguori sustained following a medical examination.

“The injuries show how the grandmother fought for her life,” the prosecutor said.

Bowden-Lewis acknowledged the brutality of the crime, however the public defender took the side that Jamele was psychotic at the time. The defense attorney, arguing for the minimum 25-year sentence, also pointed to the growth that Jamele has undergone in the two years since she was incarcerated. The young woman had completed school while in jail, and had obtained a professional culinary certificate, officials said.

“She’s had a complete 180,” Bowden-Lewis said.

Carmella Liguori, Jamele’s mother, tearfully pleaded with the judge on her daughter’s behalf, saying she has forgiven her daughter for killing her own mother.

“I really just want to say she loved her grandmother always,” Carmella Liguori said. “She would never intend to hurt my mom.”

The woman went on to say that, when she first saw Jamele just after the crime while she was being treated at Riverside Hospital in Middletown, Liguori said “it wasn’t my daughter.”

“She didn’t recognize me, she was out of it,” the mother said.

She later added, “I have to forgive her because it was not my daughter who did it. I know it was not my daughter.”

Court officials noted that Jamele was on anti-psychotic drugs shortly after her arrest, and was being treated regularly at a mental hospital. But the query on her psychosis did not hold water against the facts of the case.

In deciding the 27 years, Damiani had the last word on young woman’s case.

“Your family here, they think there’s an injustice being done,” Damiani said.

But, Damiani said, the question of justice centers less on Jamele and more on Liguori.

“Think of the injustice against your grandmother,” the judge said.

barb January 20, 2012 at 10:43 PM
so dammmm saddddddd
paula v. ferrine-Lucky January 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
MY PRAYERS ARE TOTALLY WITH THE FAMILY. GOD REST HER GRANDMOTHERS SOUL! THANK GOD FOR JUDGE DAMIANI, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN HER LESS. SHE IS A YOUNG WOMAN THAT WITH PROPER COUNSELING, THERAPHY AND FAMILY SUPPORT, THERE CAN BE A CHANGE! SEEK GOD ALSO YOUNG LADY, GO TO PRAYER SERVICES AT CHURCH ON THE STATE GROUNDS! I BELIEVE THAT THE DRUGS OVERTOOK HER, JUST LIKE ANY TYPE OF DEPENDENCY! WE HAVE TO BE HERE FOR THESE CHILDREN AND SHE ACKNOWLEDGED WHAT SHE HAD DONE, SO THAT RIGHT THERE IS TELLING YOU SOMETHING! GOD IS JUDGE AND JURY! HER CONSCIOUS IS ALREADY BEATING AT HER, THEN BEING IN PRISON WITH THE SICKO'S, ONE HAS TO FEAR THEIR LIFE EVERYDAY, SO THAT THERE WITHIN ITSELF IS ENOUGH! I PRAY FOR HERE FULL REHIBILITATION! GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD KNOWS THAT YOUR GRANDMA FORGAVE YOU AND SO DID HE, JUST PERSUE TO BE BETTER, DO BETTER AND LIVE A DIFFERENT LIFE AND GAIN KNOWLEDGE, STRENGTH, WISDOM AND GUIDANCE! SOCIETY WE CAN'T REFORM, BUT ARE WE IN ANY POSITION TO JUDGE? LET HER HEAL AND GEY AN EDUCATION AND STAY DRUG FREE! THE RICH MAN IS PUTTING THESE DRUGS OUT THERE AND TEMPTING AND CORRUPTING SOCIETY! WE HAVE TO STOP THE DRUGS COMING INTO THE COUNTRY, AND STOP THE DOCTORS FROM FREELY GIVING OUT THESE DRUGS! LET'S WIN SOULS THROUGH CHRIST! HE DIED SO THAT WE CAN HAVE LIFE! WE SIN EVERYDAY! KIDS ARE VERY NIEVE! THAT'S ALL. A TOTALLY SAD SITUATION! TO GOD WE LIFT OUR HANDS FOR PRAYERS, PRAISE, GLORY AND HONOR! AMEN!
Sherri Fletcher January 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I knew the family. Not the granddaughter but the daughters and the parents! Itaila was a hard working woman that had a very mean husband but she was the sweeted lady! She was my landlord and I loved her! She would do anything for anyone.. She had gotten sick, and had lost her sight. I pray 4 her family and hope that her granddaughter gets well, and prays that she may look for God to help her in the right path in life and will forgive her in time.... God be w/ all of them!!! So sad to loose a great person R.I.P. Italia. SM. From Naugatuck,Ct
SILENT WOLF January 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
"Justice " society can only do so much, God will take care of the rest. "trust me"
Lisa Molner January 21, 2012 at 10:43 PM
She is going to Hell for this. So so sad. RIP her Dear Grandmother
MyGoodPeople January 22, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Our criminal justice system is not consistent. DaSilva murders someone and gets 7 years only needs to serve 2.5 years because he has Eugene Riccio as his attorney. Angelina Jamele under the influence of drugs murders her grandmother and gets 27 years and needs to serve 27 years. I am not saying either one is right. They both took a life but where is the justice? This is not consistency but who has the money to buy the deal. Very sad.
Jim January 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM
You cannot draw too many parallels between these two cases other than the fact that in each of them a person was killed at the hands of another. It is a far cry from pushing someone down a flight of stairs, with the result that the person dies, vs. beating one's elderly grandmother, breaking numerous bones in her body, and then for good measure, standing on her throat until her last breath has been exhausted. In one case you have a woman who provided a safe haven for her granddaughter, while on the other you had a homeowner trying to get rid of people staying illegally not only in his house, but in this country. I believe the sentences were correct in both cases.
Lynn January 23, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I agree Jim....
SILENT WOLF January 23, 2012 at 04:28 AM
You and many others think that ,and we are so right . Someone embezels and they get 100 yrs. Ohters kill and get 5yrs, Eveyone is guilty until proven innocent. Lawmakers are so screwed up.peoples lives are ruined because the lawmakers and media are so quick to judge as well.
Craig Zac January 24, 2012 at 06:09 PM
sad... how someone could slip so far down and become a killer... drugs suck!
Lisa January 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I was in prison in 2009 after my 3rd DUI in 10 years and personally know Angelina. When sober, she is a sweet, intelligent compassionate person. Prior to killing her Grandmother, she had taken not 1,2,3, but 4 hits of acid and thought her Grandmother was a demon. She was psychotic which is no excuse but really sad. Personally, I think she would have done more good in the community visiting high schools and telling kids the dangers of drugs, but I continue to pray for her, and continue to exchange letters with her. She is not evil as people would have you believe, but the acid she took made her evil.
Rob January 30, 2012 at 04:05 PM
So how can we get kids to hear us. Drugs will mess you up. But they continue to find and take and sell drugs regaurdless. We need a better program to protect these kids. DARE is only getting the young ones at an early age and then letting them go. The amount of Heroin in Naugatuck is frightful and out of control. How do we stop it?
Craig Zac February 01, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I often wondered, Why is it that you hear all these horror stories about drugs, what they do to your health, your mind, what you may do when on them, how addicting they can be.. how tons of folks, just like you thought "I can handle it" or "I will stop useing it before I get addicted" or "I can stop whenever I want to" but they are so hooked they need to steal or worse to get the money to pay for the habit that in some cases be over $500.00 a day... And yet, STILL TRY THEM!!!??? I mean, you have to be really bored, really stupid or really uncaring. Not only do you hurt yourself but it affects your family, your friends and complete strangers like me who have to deal with the indirect consequences of the war on drugs.. and dont forget all the crime, torture and murder that is also connected to those drugs. Just because you bought it off some dealer here in CT. doesnt obsolv you from any of the murders connect to that drug, read up on the drug cartels in Mexico where a drug related death can occure at a rate of 7-10 PER DAY!! or in Columbia where (Yes it is calmer now but..) Cartels have had free reighn for years and in all the other countries you get your precious drugs from.. (ever thought youd never deal with the Taliban??) Some of the very Herione here in the states is from.... Yep, Afghanistan.. your $$$ goes right into the hands of the Taliban, how much did you donate to help bring the WTC down??
Will Wilkin February 01, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Deepest sympathy and well-wishes to the mother, who in her forgiveness shows herself to be a saint and who is suffering the loss of both. I only hope I can learn from her example. Re: the drug discussion, I wouldn't be surprised if the illegal drugs are being scapegoated and legal ones actually contributory. I know only what I read here, but it is reported she was on psychiatric drugs in the days after the murder, and if such "medication" was already being taken before the murder, then especially because her mother so deeply separates her "real" daughter from the murderer, consider if she wasn't having a reaction to psychiatric drugs. In a small percent of cases, it has been documented people have committed shocking and out-of-character crimes on anti-depressants and other psychiatric drugs. http://www.breggin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=295 EXCERPT: The case involved a teenage high school student with no prior history of violence who, while chatting in his home with two friends, abruptly stabbed one of them to death with a single wound to the chest. The boy had been taking Prozac for three months, during which time his behavior deteriorated. He became impulsive and unpredictable, and suicidal. He also began to talk at times as if fantasizing about violence. He seemed to become a different person to his distraught parents....but the clinic continued the Prozac and then doubled it. Seventeen days [later]...the teen committed the violence.
Craig Zac February 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Hey you knever know, could have been a mixture of both legal and ilegal.. sometimes Psych drugs can actually worsen the symptoms it is supposed to help. Lots of Depressed folks took their own lives after taking Prozac, people need to be more mndfull of anyone on these drugs, esp those closest to the person taking them. I mean, if you were the parent of a child who suffered from epression and they took a psych drug and got worse, you'd most likly notice it, and for the DR. to perscribe more instead of taking them off it is just totally beyond beliefe! I guess for some its: convienience + $$ = I dont give a S***!
Theresa February 08, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Ange....I know you loved your Grandmother with all your heart. My pray's are with you and Carmella, Anothy, and little Tony and Aunt Tony. I know if you would have just stayed here and stayed away from the drugs ....this would have never happened, but I know Grandmother and she forgive's you. Just remember GOD LOVES YOU! So much has come from Prozasc + the PCP that she was taking the night that this happened. We need to watch and talk to our children about these drugs. We can no longer look the other way.Our children lives our in the hands of drug dealer's! When do we take back our children's lives and step up to the plate? The family will be writting and you will always be in our Pray's. God Bless and keep the faith and walk with God 24-7
Theresa February 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
This would have NEVER HAPPENED if she didn't take PCP that night with her boyfriend.. And yes when she does get out she will help other children, Our Angelina is a good person when she is not taking and drugs. We need to Police our children at all times. From this I test my kids every week while they're in school. I became and part of their friends too. Lisa Thank you for help and being there for our angel.... And keep up your good work too. One day at a time God bless
haley September 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
and to think this was my bestfriend and neighbor when I was growin up.... creepy!
EddieGin July 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM
I would love to travel back into TIME and shove about four pills *RU486 down her Mother's throat. What a piece of Trash. Maybe Karma will come to her in Niantic. Memo to Theresa: Go see a good Doctor.

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