The Putnam Examiner

Putnam DA’s Office Convicts Dutchess Woman of Murder

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A trial handled by the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office that garnered national attention ended with a guilty verdict last week when a Dutchess County woman was convicted of killing her longtime boyfriend.

After three days of deliberations, a jury found Nicole Addimando guilty of 2nd degree murder in the slaying of Christopher Grover in September 2017 as the 30-year-old mother of two awaits sentencing that is scheduled for June where she could face 25 years to life in prison. Though the crime occurred in Dutchess, the Putnam DA’s office investigated and tried the case because of a possible conflict of interest with the Dutchess DA’s office.

Addimando’s defense team claimed that Grover had abused physically and sexually for years, while Putnam prosecutors Chana Krauss and Larry Glasser painted her as a killer who committed her crime in cold blood.

On Sep. 28, 2017, Addimando was sitting in her car alone at 2 a.m. sometime after she shot Grover. When she didn’t move her car despite the light changing, a Town of Poughkeepsie police officer approached her car and Addimando got out saying that she had just killed her boyfriend in self-defense following years of abuse, according to the DA’s office. After being brought in for questioning, she was eventually arrested.

A six-month investigation that included phone records, internet searches, computer forensics, and dozens of interviews revealed inconsistencies in Addimando’s alleged history of abuse and her claim of self-defense and instead showed overwhelming evidence of intentional murder, the DA’s office stated.

When presenting the case, Krauss proved Grover was killed at point blank shot to his head while he was sleeping on his couch. A deputy medical examiner testified the gunshot wound to Grover’s temple was a hard, tight, contact wound caused by the muzzle of the gun pressed directly against his temple as he slept on his couch. Prior to the shooting, evidence was presented that indicated Addimando searched on a computer “what would happen if someone was asleep and then someone shot them in head. Will they wake up or die instantly?”

The defense attempted to prove the shooting was out of self-defense.

One of Addimando’s defense attorneys, John Ingrassia, said during the trial “we marched witness after witness after witness to attest to the abuse” and the abuse by Grover was evil, sadistic torture,” according to The Poughkeepsie Journal. Ingrassia detailed various injuries to his client as a result of Grover, including rapes, being choked with a bathrobe belt, and using a hot spoon to burn various parts of her body, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal.

Grover was shot within 24 hours of Child Protective Services visiting the couple’s home after the agency received an anonymous complaint reported that Addimando had bruises on her. Since the couple had two small children, the agency said it was going to begin a probe.

The defense claimed once CPS informed the couple they were beginning an investigation, Grover knew his “dark secret was about to be unveiled for the world to see,” Ingrassia said, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal. But prosecutors countered by arguing Addimando was afraid of the CPS investigation because she thought the agency would reach the truth about prior abuse allegations she shared with therapists and medical professionals and she could lose her children, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal.

Putnam District Attorney Robert Tendy, in a statement, said the investigation and prosecution was “one of the most painstaking and professional” he’s ever seen.

“This case was tragic,” Tendy stated. “Christopher Grover was a loving father, son, brother and nephew. I just hope the guilty verdict can bring some relief to his family and friends.”

In an interview, Tendy said there was no indication that Addimando was abused by Grover even though she had made claims over the years. People had also seen her with bruises over the years, Tendy said, but there was no proof that Grover was the cause.

“She made claims over the years that other people had abused her,” Tendy said. “But there was no evidence that he abused her and there is no evidence that anybody abused her.”

Instead, over the years she would tell other people what a loving man he was and his actions showed he was invested in her as a mother and companion, Tendy said.

Still, there were supporters of Addimando, who believed she had been abused and the killing was justified. A fundraising page for Addimando has raised more than $90,000 for her with donations still pouring in as of Monday. The page states that Addimando survived years of “severe domestic violence” and was “unjustly convicted” of murder. During the trial, there were extensive documented instances where she was abused, the fundraising page stated, but the judicial system refused to acknowledge “the dynamics of abuse and why women often can’t leave.”

“Instead of offering protection, compassion, and healing, our criminal justice system becomes a continuation of abuse… already suffered,” the page stated.

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