BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — Witnesses in a murder trial stated in court that the men involved in the killing prayed to “the alligator god” for the quiet removal of the only piece of evidence that could incriminate them – the head of their victim.
According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, the two men – Robert Mackey and Paul Trucchio – killed 41-year-old Lorraine Hatzakorzian in 2007 when she tried to escape from them. The men then dismembered her using tree-cutting tools before disposing of her remains in the Everglades.
The duo then prayed to a small statue of an alligator that animals would consume the head before it was found and their crime was discovered, one witness stated last Thursday.
“They used to pray to it. They used to pray to an alligator and rub its head, like a nut job,” former roommate Louis Caroleo was quoted as saying. “They said it was the alligator god. They hoped the alligator would eat the evidence. They used to joke about it all the time. It was pretty bizarre.”
Their prayers went unanswered as the head was found by a boat ramp in Broward County that same year.
He and another former roommate, Doug Stine, also testified that they saw the duo cleaning their pick-up truck using bleach. Caroleo and Stine additionally admitted that, between May and July of 2007, they heard the men not only admit to their crimes, but plot ways to get away with it.
It was Stine who reported them to authorities after Mackey assaulted Trucchio with a hammer after he discussed their victim, the paper learned.
Trucchio was sentenced to 30 years’ time after pleading no contest to murder charges last year. Mackey is facing the possibility of life in prison if found guilty of second-degree murder, according to the Sun-Sentinel, and 30 years if convicted of being an accessory after-the-fact.
Mackey’s defense was said to have begun last Friday.