Christine Paolilla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Christine Paolilla
BornChristine Marie Paolilla
(1986-03-31) March 31, 1986 (age 28)
Long Island, New York
Criminal charge
Capital murder (4 counts)
Criminal penalty
Life imprisonment
Criminal status
Incarcerated
Spouse(s)Justin Rott (m.2005-divorced)
MotiveRobbery
Conviction(s)Capital murder (4 counts)
Partner(s)Christopher Lee Snider
Killings
DateJuly 18, 2003
CountryUnited States
State(s)Texas
Location(s)Clear Lake City
Target(s)Rachael Koloroutis
Tiffany Rowell
Marcus Precella
Adelbert Sanchez
Killed4
Weapon(s)9mm semi-automatic pistol[1]
38-caliber revolver[1]
Date apprehended
July 19, 2006
Imprisoned atMountain View Unit
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Christine Paolilla
BornChristine Marie Paolilla
(1986-03-31) March 31, 1986 (age 28)
Long Island, New York
Criminal charge
Capital murder (4 counts)
Criminal penalty
Life imprisonment
Criminal status
Incarcerated
Spouse(s)Justin Rott (m.2005-divorced)
MotiveRobbery
Conviction(s)Capital murder (4 counts)
Partner(s)Christopher Lee Snider
Killings
DateJuly 18, 2003
CountryUnited States
State(s)Texas
Location(s)Clear Lake City
Target(s)Rachael Koloroutis
Tiffany Rowell
Marcus Precella
Adelbert Sanchez
Killed4
Weapon(s)9mm semi-automatic pistol[1]
38-caliber revolver[1]
Date apprehended
July 19, 2006
Imprisoned atMountain View Unit

Christine Marie Paolilla (born March 31, 1986) is a convicted American mass murderer who is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting four of her friends in their Clear Lake City, Texas home on July 18, 2003. The killings, which came to be known as the "Clear Lake murders", made national headlines.

Paolilla, who was 17 years old at the time of the murders, was accompanied by her then-boyfriend Christopher Lee Snider. She was arrested on July 19, 2006, three years and one day after the murders were committed. Snider committed suicide before police could arrest him.

Early life[edit]

Paolilla was born in Long Island, New York to Lori, a stay-at-home mom, and Charles Paolilla, a construction worker. She has an older brother, John. When Paolilla was 2 years old, her father was killed in a construction accident. Following the death of her husband, Lori Paolilla began abusing drugs and eventually lost custody of her children to her parents.[2] When Paolilla was in kindergarten, she diagnosed with alopecia which caused her to lose her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. As a result of the hair loss, Paolilla was forced to wear wigs. She also had poor vision and wore thick glasses. Paolilla was frequently ridiculed and bullied by her classmates for her appearance which affected her self-confidence.[2]

Paolilla was eventually reunited with her mother who had overcome her drug addiction and remarried. The family then moved to Clear Lake City, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Paolilla enrolled at Clear Lake High School. She was befriended by two popular students, Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell, who helped her improve her appearance and fit in with the other students. In 2003, Paolilla was voted "Miss Irresistible" by her school's student body. That year, she also began a relationship with 21 year-old Christopher Lee Snider.[2] Paolilla's mother and stepfather disapproved of Snider, as did Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell, because of his frequent drug use and various arrests. Lori Paolilla later recalled that Snider isolated her daughter from her friends and family and indicated that the relationship was abusive and dysfunctional. Snider's family also said the relationship was tumultuous and that Paolilla was prone to jealousy. After one fight with Snider, Paolilla spent the night on the front lawn of his family's home and threatened to kill his family.[3] During the relationship, Paolilla began using drugs with Snider.[2]

Murders[edit]

On July 18, 2003, Paolilla and Snider went to her friend Tiffany Rowell's home in Clear Lake City. Also at the home were Rachael Koloroutis, Rowell's boyfriend Marcus Precella, and Precella's cousin Adelbert Sanchez. According to Paolilla, she and Snider planned to steal the drugs that were kept at the house but Snider reportedly got into an argument with Precella which led to the shootings of Rowell, Koloroutis, Precella, and Sanchez.[4] All four victims were shot multiple times. Rachael Koloroutis attempted to crawl to a phone to call 911 after she was shot but Paolilla struck her in the head multiple times with the butt of a 38-caliber revolver, bashing in her skull. Paolilla then shot Koloroutis in the crotch. Snider and Paolilla left little evidence at the crime scene leading police to suspect that the killings were drug related as Marcus Precella and Adelbert Sanchez reportedly sold drugs from the home. The only evidence police had were descriptions of the suspects who were seen walking to and from the home by neighbors.[5]

An hour after the murders, Snider drove Paolilla to Walgreens where she worked as a cashier.[3]

Apprehension[edit]

Paolilla and Snider's relationship ended in 2004 when Snider was jailed in Kentucky for car theft. After the relationship ended, Paolilla entered rehab in Kerrville, Texas. It was there that she met Justin Rott, a heroin user with whom she began a relationship. The couple married in March 2005. Around that time, Paolilla came into a $360,000 trust fund left to her by her father. Paolilla used a portion of the money to buy a condo. In July 2005, the second anniversary of the murders, Paolilla saw a newscast on television about the still unsolved case. Paolilla became upset after seeing sketches of the suspects given by neighbors and confessed to Rott that she and Snider had committed the murders. The couple then went into hiding. In November 2005, they ended up in San Antonio where they rented a motel room. Paolilla and Rott spent the next eight months holed up in the room, shooting heroin and cocaine.[3]

On July 8, 2006, police received an anonymous tip via Crimestoppers regarding the murders of Tiffany Rowell, Rachael Koloroutis, Marcus Precella, and Adelbert Sanchez. The male caller told police that he had been in rehab with Paolilla who had admitted to being a participant in the crime (it was later reported that Justin Rott was not the man who called in the tip).[3] Police tracked Paolilla down in San Antonio and arrested her on July 19, 2006.[4][6] (Paolilla's husband was also arrested as police found 70 vials of heroin in the couple's room). After their arrests, Rott told police that Paolilla had confessed to him that she had been an active participant in the murders. He stated that Paolilla had gone back into the house and beat Koloroutis to death with a gun.[2] Paolilla initially denied killing her friends. She eventually admitted to participating in the murders but placed all the blame on her ex-boyfriend, Christopher Snider.[6] Paolilla and Snider were both charged with capital murder on July 21, 2006.[7] Paolilla's bail was set at $500,000 as she was considered a flight risk.[8]

In June 2006, Christopher Snider moved to Greenville, South Carolina where he was living with a woman he met online. After Paolilla's arrest, one of Snider's family members called to inform him that police had issued a warrant for his arrest in relation to the murders. Acting on a tip that Snider may have committed suicide, police went to Greenville and searched near an area where Snider was reported to have been seen. His decomposing body was found in a heavily wooded area on August 5, 2006.[9] It was later determined that Snider had overdosed on prescription medication.[10]

Conviction[edit]

On October 13, 2008, Paolilla was convicted of four counts of capital murder. Because she was a juvenile offender at the time of the killings, she was spared the death penalty.[11] The following day, she was sentenced to life in prison.[1] Paolilla filed an appeal on November 29, 2008 on the grounds that "the trial court abused its discretion in setting [Paolilla's] amount of bail at $500,000". An appeals panel decided that the court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed Paolilla's original sentence. She has since filed additional appeals which have also been affirmed.[12]

Paolilla is currently incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas and will be eligible for parole in 2046.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lezon, Dale (2008-10-14). "Paolilla gets life in 4 Clear Lake slayings". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mary Fulginiti; Kristin Pisarcik; Miguel Sancho (2009-09-25). "What Made Houston Teen Kill Her Friends?". Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d Getlen, Larry (February 26, 2012). "‘Psycho’ 17-year-old shot, beat classmates to death". nypost.com. 
  4. ^ a b Mary Fulginiti; Kristin Pisarcik; Miguel Sancho (September 24, 2009). "'Miss Irresistible' Denies Killing Friends". Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lezon, Dale (September 30, 2008). "Investigator: Clear Lake killings "a gory scene"". chron.com. 
  6. ^ a b Rendon, Ruth (July 24, 2007). "Husband shocked by wife's tale of killings". chron.com. 
  7. ^ Kilday, Anne Marie (July 21, 2006). "Two charged in 2003 Clear Lake slayings". chron.com. 
  8. ^ "$500,000 bail set for slaying suspect". chron.com. 
  9. ^ "Greenville Police Find Body". The Item. August 6, 2006. p. 2A. 
  10. ^ "Cold case file: Persistent Houston police investigators deserve the public's thanks for solving three-year-old murders.". chron.com. August 7, 2006. 
  11. ^ "Woman found guilty of Clear Lake murders". Associated Press. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  12. ^ Phelps, M. William (2012). Never See Them Again. Kensington Publishing Corp. pp. 345–346. ISBN 0-758-27825-X. 
  13. ^ "TDCJ Offender Details". tdcj.state.tx.us.