Trial Continues On Murdered Fil Am Lass; Her Parents Are Called To Testify

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Two hours before Filipino American Anna Lisa Raymundo was found dead at 10:34 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2002 in Stamford, Connecticut, she called up her mother, Dr. Susan Raymundo, at their home in Florida.

But Dr. Raymundo was at the hospital with her mother when Anna Lisa, a 32-year-old New York native and Harvard University magna cum laude graduate, called, which she did about twice a day.

The phone record was among the evidence presented before the Stamford Superior Court Wednesday (Feb. 1) when Mrs. Raymundo testified at the second week of the murder trial of the suspect, Sheila Sara Davalloo, accused of bludgeoning to death Anna Lisa nine years ago.

Anna Lisa’s father, Dr. Rene Raymundo, also told Supervisory State’s Attorney James Bernardi, who was cross-examining him that he cleaned his daughter’s condo at 123 Harbor Drive in Stamford three or four times a year with his wife.

Bernardi asked Raymundo, a retired anesthesiologist, specifically about the sink in the first-floor bathroom, where police investigators found several drops of blood.

Dr. Raymundo said he cleaned the bathroom thoroughly and that he visited the condo three months before his daughter’s murder.

Raymundo, a 70-year-old native of Pasig, Metro Manila in the Philippines, testified that he did not find anything missing when he went over Anna Lisa’s stuff after the murder, ruling out burglary as a motive.

Dr. Raymundo and his wife, Susan, a native of Quezon City in the Philippines, were among those who testified Wednesday before Judge Richard Comerford trying Ms. Davalloo, an Iranian-American, who is acting as her own lawyer during the trial in the passion killing.

Davalloo, 42, a former pharmaceutical researcher accused of killing Raymundo in order to have her boyfriend, Nelson Sessler, all by herself, faces 25 to 60 years in prison if convicted of murder. Sessler, a co-worker of both Davalloo and Raymundo, was dating both.

DAVALLO SEEN LEAVING WORK PLACE

After Sessler broke off with Davalloo to be with Raymundo, Davalloo was seen in a surveillance video leaving her workplace at Purdue Pharma in Stamford at about 11 a.m. on the day of the murder of Anna Lisa.

Authorities later found DNA from bloodstains on a bathroom faucet handle matching both Davalloo and Raymundo and the initial call to police, which prompted them to find Raymundo’s body, was tied to Davallo, who placed a pay phone call half-mile from the murder scene.

But it took authorities nearly five years to the day after Raymundo’s murder, when they obtained a warrant on Nov. 6, 2007 to arrest Davalloo, 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.

Davalloo appeared to get a break Thursday (Feb. 2) when prosecutors decided not to present a former Westchester County, New York police detective to testify against Davalloo to allay fears that the testimony against her in the attempted murder of her husband would unfairly influence the jury.

In objecting to the presentation of Detective Allison Carpentier at the trial, Davalloo argued that, “it seems like re-litigation of the New York case.”

Although Judge Comerford overruled Davalloo’s objection, he told Bernardi to limit the scope of his questions toward witnesses involved in the 2003 stabbing and to relate their testimony to the Raymundo homicide.

Comerford also cautioned jurors from speculating that Davalloo had a bad character or tendency for violence from evidence detailing the 2003 stabbing of Christos. Instead, they should focus on whether the testimony and evidence from the stabbing proved a common motive or plan.

SESSLER BROKE OFF WITH DAVALLOO

Sessler testified last week that he had dated Davalloo before starting a relationship with Raymundo in late 2001. Prosecutors said Davalloo was obsessed with Sessler and Davalloo rekindled their affair following Raymundo’s death.

After stabbing her husband, Christos, Davalloo called up Sessler, instead of 911. Sessler said Davalloo invited him for dinner on the night of the attack.

Former friends of both Christos and Davalloo will testify when trial resumes Friday (Feb. 3) morning.

Nearly 50 pieces of crime scene evidence, including blood stains and men’s clothes found in the bathroom of the condo where Anna Lisa Raymundo was found stabbed to death, were presented at the fifth day of the trial last Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Bernardi was able to elicit testimony from State Trooper Don Elmendorf, who helped Stamford police investigate the Raymundo homicide, that on the day Raymundo was killed “someone was standing in front of the sink trying to clean themselves.”

Also found in the crime scene were two pieces of men’s clothing – a tan dress shirt and green tie – left on the floor. Sessler, who was also staying at Anna Lisa’s apartment, left the condo four hours before the murder.

Another state trooper testified that Raymundo did not interrupt a burglary before someone killed her. Trooper Matthew Reilly said there was no sign of forced entry and the only way to enter the condo was through the front door.

Last Friday, Jan. 27, voice recognition expert Tom Owen testified that it was Davalloo who called 911 to alert police to the killing of Anna Lisa Raymundo. Davalloo was quoted as saying at a pay phone at a fast-food restaurant on Shippan Avenue (in Stamford), “I think the guy is attacking my neighbor.”

Another witness, Dan Arenovski, associate director of corporate security of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, where Davalloo had worked with Sessler and Raymundo, testified that on the day of Anna Lisa’s murder Sessler came to work at 9:37 a.m. and left 5:10 p.m. and stayed in the building the whole workday.

Arenovski also testified that Davalloo came to work just after 8 a.m. and left at 10:53 a.m. She didn’t return until two hours later. And she left work at 4:35 p.m.

Raymundo was killed between 10:34 a.m. and 12:13 p.m., according to the Davalloo’s arrest records. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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