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20050529: Mothers say convicted killer was once a trusted baby sitter CT Waterbury Serial Killer News
Convicted child killer Todd Rizzo was once a trusted baby sitter, two mothers have testified in a hearing to consider his penalty. Lynne Connolly and Violet Boisvert told a three-judge panel Friday that during the mid-1990s Rizzo, who is now 26, was a baby sitter for their children, took them to the park and played with them. Neither woman said she was concerned about leaving their children with Rizzo, who was a high school student in Waterbury at the time. "He was very good to my children," Boisvert said on the eighth day of Rizzo's death penalty hearing in Waterbury Superior Court. "I never had a problem with Todd. I never mistrusted him." Boisvert said her two sons saw Rizzo as an older brother, calling him "Todd Squad." "My kids loved Todd," she said. The five children now range in age from 12 to 21. Rizzo's public defenders are trying to prove that mitigating factors, such as his difficult and unsupervised childhood and past good deeds, should spare him the death penalty. Prosecutors are trying to prove the crime was particularly cruel and heinous, making Rizzo eligible for the death sentence. Perrin Markay also testified that he and Rizzo were best friends when they attended middle school. Students often picked on Rizzo because he was undersized and had red hair and freckles, he said. But by their junior year in high school, Rizzo dyed his hair black, watched violent movies and read books about serial killers, Markay said. Rizzo also collected serial killer trading cards, he said. "I was hoping it was just a phase he would let go as time went on," Markay said. "So I didn't really make a big deal about it." Rizzo, an ex-Marine, was 18 on Sept, 30, 1997, when he persuaded Stanley Edwards IV to hunt snakes with him. He told police he straddled the 13-year-old boy "like a horse" and hit him 13 times with a 3-pound sledgehammer as the boy begged him to stop. He pleaded guilty to capital felony in 1999. He dumped the boy's body in a nearby wooded lot. He told authorities he needed to know what it would be like to kill someone. A jury sentenced Rizzo to death, but the state Supreme Court overturned the sentence in October 2003. The justices ruled that the jury had not been properly instructed. Six inmates face death sentences in Connecticut. Rizzo and another inmate, Ivo Colon, are being housed on death row pending the outcome of penalty hearings. Earlier this month, serial killer Michael Ross became the first Connecticut inmate executed since 1960. The penalty phase hearing is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
 

20050529: Mothers say convicted killer was once a trusted baby sitter CT Waterbury Serial Killer News
Convicted child killer Todd Rizzo was once a trusted baby sitter, two mothers have testified in a hearing to consider his penalty. Lynne Connolly and Violet Boisvert told a three-judge panel Friday that during the mid-1990s Rizzo, who is now 26, was a baby sitter for their children, took them to the park and played with them. Neither woman said she was concerned about leaving their children with Rizzo, who was a high school student in Waterbury at the time. "He was very good to my children," Boisvert said on the eighth day of Rizzo's death penalty hearing in Waterbury Superior Court. "I never had a problem with Todd. I never mistrusted him." Boisvert said her two sons saw Rizzo as an older brother, calling him "Todd Squad." "My kids loved Todd," she said. The five children now range in age from 12 to 21. Rizzo's public defenders are trying to prove that mitigating factors, such as his difficult and unsupervised childhood and past good deeds, should spare him the death penalty. Prosecutors are trying to prove the crime was particularly cruel and heinous, making Rizzo eligible for the death sentence. Perrin Markay also testified that he and Rizzo were best friends when they attended middle school. Students often picked on Rizzo because he was undersized and had red hair and freckles, he said. But by their junior year in high school, Rizzo dyed his hair black, watched violent movies and read books about serial killers, Markay said. Rizzo also collected serial killer trading cards, he said. "I was hoping it was just a phase he would let go as time went on," Markay said. "So I didn't really make a big deal about it." Rizzo, an ex-Marine, was 18 on Sept, 30, 1997, when he persuaded Stanley Edwards IV to hunt snakes with him. He told police he straddled the 13-year-old boy "like a horse" and hit him 13 times with a 3-pound sledgehammer as the boy begged him to stop. He pleaded guilty to capital felony in 1999. He dumped the boy's body in a nearby wooded lot. He told authorities he needed to know what it would be like to kill someone. A jury sentenced Rizzo to death, but the state Supreme Court overturned the sentence in October 2003. The justices ruled that the jury had not been properly instructed. Six inmates face death sentences in Connecticut. Rizzo and another inmate, Ivo Colon, are being housed on death row pending the outcome of penalty hearings. Earlier this month, serial killer Michael Ross became the first Connecticut inmate executed since 1960. The penalty phase hearing is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
 


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