Milan

Murderer sought to eradicate every trace of ex-companion

Judges explain life sentence for man in murder of informant

Murderer sought to eradicate every trace of ex-companion

Milan, August 20 - A panel of appeals judges in Milan wrote in a sentence-justification that suspected 'Ndrangheta mafia member Carlo Cosco sought to eradicate every trace of his former companion-turned-informant, Lea Garofalo, when he allegedly murdered her in 2009 with the aid of others, the newspaper Il Giorno reported on Tuesday. Garofalo disappeared on November 24, 2009, more than a decade after becoming an informant to Calabrian law enforcement regarding internal feuds between her family and that of Cosco, her ex-companion. She was first placed under a witness protection programme in 2002, but had renounced the security measures prior to her death. On May 29, a panel of middle-court appeals judges confirmed life-sentences for Cosco and three others. The judges also overturned life-sentences for two others in the case, acquitting one defendant and reducing the sentence of another - turned informant - to 25 years. The appeals judges had to reassess the individual roles of the defendants when a surprising series of statements and confessions followed the lower court's ruling of six life-sentences in March 2012. Statements by defendant Carmine Venturino led to the discovery of Garofalo's scorched remains in a Monza warehouse, north of Milan, last summer. The judges did not find Venturino's version of events entirely reliable, however, and wrote that the defendants made agreements amongst themselves "to save what was salvageable" in the legal proceedings. The judges concluded that Garofalo's cause of death remains unknown. The middle-court judges wrote that Carlo Cosco's motive for murder was "bitterness over being abandoned" by Garofalo, a sense of vendetta that was exacerbated by her choice to collaborate with the law.

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