Ridgefield Florist Convicted of Murder, Faces Life in Prison
By Travis Tormey posted in Homicide on Monday, May 20, 2013
On Friday, a Bergen County jury found Thomas Battinelli, a 55-year-old Ridgefield florist, guilty of murdering his business partner.
Mr. Battinelli and Michael Murphy ran G&M Wholesale Flowers in Garfield, NJ. On Jan. 10, 2010, Mr. Murphy was shot and killed with a .22-caliber rifle. Police identified Mr. Battinelli for the crime.
Although the trial lasted more than a month, the jury took just three (3) hours to return a guilty verdict for murder.
Murder is codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which classifies criminal homicide as a first degree crime. If a person knowingly and purposefully causes another person’s death, he or she can be guilty of murder. Ordinarily, crimes of the first degree are subject to a punishment of between 10 and 20 years in prison, but because murder is considered the most serious offense in the state’s Criminal Code, the penalties are substantially more severe. When Mr. Battinelli is sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court in July, he faces a sentence of life in prison, with a minimum term of imprisonment of 30 years that must be served without parole.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Ridgefield Florist Found Guilty of Murdering Business Partner.”