Press Releases


Peter Manfredonia Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison For 2020 Murder, Assault and Home Invasion


(Vernon, CT) – Matthew C. Gedansky, Tolland State’s Attorney, announced that the Honorable Kathleen E. McNamara today sentenced Peter Manfredonia, age 26, of Newtown, to 55 years in prison for the May 22, 2020 killing of Theodore DeMers, 62, and the wounding of John Franco in Willington, and a home invasion in Willington in which Manfredonia held the homeowner hostage.

Manfredonia’s prison sentence follows his guilty plea on February 8, 2023 in Rockville Superior Court to Murder in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-54a, Assault in the First Degree in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-59(a) and Home Invasion in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-100(a)(a). Judge McNamara sentenced Manfredonia to 55 years in prison on the murder charge, 20 years in prison on the assault charge and 25 years in prison on the home invasion charge. All sentences will run concurrently for a total effective sentence of 55 years to serve. 

During today’s sentencing hearing, family and friends of Mr. DeMers addressed the Court about the tremendous impact the loss of Mr. DeMers has had on those who loved him. Mr. Franco, who was seriously wounded in the attack and Donald Hipsky, who was held hostage for more than 24 hours by Manfredonia before the defendant fled the state, also addressed the court about what impact the crimes have had on their lives.

State’s Attorney Gedansky expressed his gratitude to the family of Mr. DeMers and to Mr. Franco and Mr. Hipsky for their courage in taking part in pre-trial discussions about the case.

“We would like to acknowledge the strength of character of the victims and Mr. DeMers’ family members for taking active roles in the resolution of this case,” State’s Attorney Gedansky said.

State’s Attorney Gedansky also expressed his gratitude to law enforcement authorities who helped capture Manfredonia after he fled Connecticut. Local, state and federal authorities arrested Manfredonia in Maryland after a six-day search.

“If not for the extraordinary efforts of the Connecticut State Police, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and law enforcement officers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, the defendant’s crime spree may have continued on,” State’s Attorney Gedansky said.

Before Manfredonia fled Connecticut, Manfredonia murdered Nicholas Eisele, 23, and kidnapped Mr. Eisele’s girlfriend, Shannon Spies, in Derby on May 24, 2020. Police found Ms. Spies unharmed at a rest stop in New Jersey. Manfredonia was sentenced on April 19, 2023 to 55 years in prison for those crimes. Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney Margaret E. Kelley prosecuted that case.