Jury Selection StartsJan. 24 For Trial Of Murdered Fil Am

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Jury selection in the trial of the murder of Filipino American Anna Lisa Raymundo will start on Tuesday, Jan. 24, in Stamford, Connecticut, according to Raymundo’s father, Dr. Rene Raymundo.

Doctor Raymundo told this reporter over the phone that Judge Richard Comerford of the Stamford Superior Court will start on Tuesday selection of jurors, who will hear testimony and evidence that link Sheila Davallo, an Iranian American, in the fatal stabbing of his daughter nine years ago in Stamford.

Both Anna Lisa Raymundo and Sheila Davallo were working at the Purdue Pharma in Stamford in 2002 when they were dated by a male co-worker, Nelson Sessler.

In order to eliminate Miss Raymundo from the love triangle, Davallo, who was married at the time to Paul Christos, allegedly stabbed and bludgeoned Raymundo to death inside Raymundo’s apartment at 123 Harbor Drive in Stamford.

Since there was no witness and not enough evidence to pin Davallo on Raymundo’s killing, Davallo was never formally charged in Raymundo’s murder.

But after nearly five years to the day after Raymundo’s murder, authorities obtained a warrant on Nov. 6, 2007 to arrest Davallo, who was picked up on Dec. 29, 2008 by Stamford police at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Westchester County in New York, where she is serving a 25-year sentence for her attempt to kill her then, husband, Paul Christos.

Authorities obtained security video at Purdue, showing Davallo leaving her work place at 11 a.m. on the day of Raymundo’s murder; DNA from bloodstains found on a bathroom faucet handle matched both Davalloo and Raymundo and the initial call to police, which prompted them to find Raymundo’s body and was made from a pay phone a half-mile from the murder scene, is consistent with Davalloo’s voice.

The Connecticut state Superior Court judge set $1 million bail during her arraignment on Raymundo’s murder. On January 14, 2009 Sheila pleaded not guilty to the Raymundo’s murder appearing alert and businesslike in a black suit and a hot pink turtleneck in court.


Police said Davallo was on a long lunch from work when she drove into Palmer Landing Community on Harbor Drive, parked her car and rang the doorbell to Raymundo’s apartment. Sessler had left Raymundo’s apartment about four hours earlier. Davallo stabbed Raymundo about 20 times and slammed her head with a blunt object. Police found broken glass, blood splatters and other evidence in the foyer, and strands of hair on Raymundo’s hands.

Davallo was accused of trying to kill her husband (Christos) in 2003 by lying to him and playing a game where she would handcuff him and gave her an opportunity to stab him in their home and again outside Westchester County hospital in New York. She was later arrested outside the hospital for stabbing Christos three times in the chest.

In 2004, a jury convicted Davallo of attempted murder and first-degree assault. Judge Thomas Dickerson of the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, New York sentenced her to a maximum of 25 years in prison without parole.

Last year, Davallo’s public defender Barry Butler argued against introducing evidence from the Davallo’s New York state conviction into the upcoming jury trial in the Raymundo murder case, invoking Connecticut’s Code of Evidence that prohibits past crimes or acts to be used as evidence to demonstrate a defendant’s bad character or criminal tendencies.

In overruling Butler, Judge Comerford agreed with Connecticut Senior Assistant State’s Attorney James Bernardi that the evidence being introduced fell under several exceptions of the Code.


Butler said allowing such evidence would unfairly influence the jury to believe Davalloo has a violent nature. He added such evidence would not prove that Davalloo had a plan or motive to eliminate her husband thru murder in order to be with Sessler.

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan resident Ed Navarra, national chair of National Federation of Filipino American Associations, urged fellow NaFFAA members led by Attorney J.T. Mallonga and Connecticut Filipino American community to attend the trial to give moral support to Anna Lisa Raymundo’s parents, Doctors Rene and Susan Raymundo, during the jury trial. Navarra and the Raymundos are neighbors in Bloomfield Hills.

“I just want conviction of Davallo so there will be closure on my daughter’s case,” Doctor Raymundo told this reporter.

Anna Lisa Raymundo, a native of New York, was 32 when she was allegedly stabbed and killed by Davallo, who was her same age. Davallo, now 42, was brought to the U.S. by her Iranian parents when she was a toddler.

Anna Lisa was associate director of Purdue Pharmaceutical for two years before she was hired by Farmacia Pharmaceutical as Associate Director in New Jersey for less than a year.

She graduated magna cum laude at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts in 1992 in government and premedical programs and finished masters degree in Public Health at Columbia University in New York in 1995.

Davallo, born on May 11, 1969, in Iran came to the U.S. with her family in mid-1970’s. She attended SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island, New York and earned biochemistry degree.

She married her first husband, Farid Moussavi, who filed for divorce when he learned she was carrying an affair with Christos, whom she met while she was attending graduate program at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York.

Davallo later got a job as a research scientist at Purdue, where she met Sessler.

In 2006 Davallo’s life was profiled on the Oxygen television series Snapped, which focuses on female criminals and murderers. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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