Superior Court Judge John Pursel has to determine whether
dead men tell no lies.
Walter Tormasi, 34, was back in Pursel’s courtroom on Tuesday, appealing his conviction for murdering his mother in 1996 outside their Middle Road home in Martinsville, according to a report in mycentraljersey.com.
Tormasi, now serving a life sentence in state prison, is arguing that his late father, Attila Tormasi, had written and signed an affidavit in which he confessed to contracting with a hit man to murder his wife and then paying off his son’s public defender.
The defense is claiming the affidavit was discovered by Walter Tormasi’s brother and sister in 2003, but was kept secret until their father died three years ago, mycentraljersey.com reported.
Walter Tormasi’s public defender, Lewis White, has died. And the alleged hit
man, a private investigator, named in the affidavit has yet to be found, it was
The state Supreme Court refused to hear a previous appeal from Tormasi, who argued that White had failed to properly examine his father during the trial, and failed to investigate and present evidence that implicated his father in the murder, according to court papers.
During the 1998 trial, several witnesses testified about Tormasi’s penchant for
guns. His former girlfriend testified that he had showed her a hole in his basement wall that he claimed was made by firing a gun.
Carlo Rosati, a firearms expert with the FBI, examined the nine-millimeter
bullets recovered from the scene of Frances's murder and the basement wall of
the Tormasi home, and concluded that they had all been fired from the same
weapon, court papers say.
Kenneth Riker, who had gone to school with Tormasi since the sixth grade and was at Warren Acres, a juvenile detention center, when Tormasi was brought there after the shooting of his mother, testified that Tormasi admitted to shooting his mother with a nine-millimeter handgun "eight to 10 times.”
After the shooting, Tormasi told authorities that a masked gunman had shot his mother as he stood by watching. He later told friends, who testified at his trial, that he hated his mother because she had moved out of the house to live with a boyfriend. His father operated a boarding house in Bradley Gardens.