Less than two weeks shy of the date Nicholas Pascarella Jr. killed his father with a baseball bat two years ago, Ulster County Judge Donald A. Williams sentenced him to 25 years in prison after being convicted of second degree murder.

Pascarella was convicted of killing his father outside of his home while his mother witnessed the attack. The defense team at the trial had argued the defendant was "under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance," according to a press release from District Attorney Holley Carnright.

Judith Pascarella, mother of the defendant and wife of the victim, said during the trial, "My son did the ultimate betrayal." She added, "He cold bloodedly and without hesitation killed his father, his hero as you heard him describe here in court."

Also speaking during the trial was Jared Cocozza, who was the victim's grandson, and nephew of the younger Pascarella. "There won't be him smiling in the audience at my graduation or even to bust my chops on my first date," he said. "My brother only got six years with him but I will make sure he knows everything that pop taught me cause he taught me about life, love and family. And no one, not even a murderer can take that away."

A third family member, Dawn Cocozza, the victim's daughter addressed her brother directly during the trial. "And for my children, I will not let you or this circumstance make us into victims," she told him. "We will rise up and live our lives. Fortunately, that does not include you. And I want to be nothing like you."

Cocozza said during the trial that "I want to be a mother to my children and show them that in spite of you, I can be happy and move forward. In order for me to move forward, I am choosing to forgive you. And with this, I can set you free, move forward and forget you."

The defense had argued for a lesser charge of first degree manslaughter which Carnright said had been rejected by the jury.

With the judge giving Pascarella the maximum sentence under the law, he said he did not believe rehabilitation was possible. The judge also addressed evidence presented at the trial which showed the murder may have been an attempt by the defendant to impress his estranged wife.

Citing a phone call from the defendant to his wife, Pascarella Jr. was quoted as saying, "Five years is a long time to sleep by myself and never be held again. And to be honest I would do it every single day for you." He added, "The sad part is when five years is up and I get a taste of freedom and you ask me to kill somebody else, I'd do it again.

Pascarella's case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Kavanagh while Pascarella was represented by MariAnn Connolly.


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