A North Amityville man is denying that he killed his former 30-year-old girlfriend, who he reported missing under suspicious circumstances from an apartment they shared in a Halloween supply store warehouse two months ago.
Joseph DeFelice pleaded not guilty Friday at Suffolk County court to a grand jury indictment charging him with second-degree murder, criminal facilitation and hindering prosecution. The 31-year-old, who U.S. Marshals apprehended in Palm Beach, Fla. Oct. 12, is being held without bail at Suffolk County jail.
Prosecutors said DeFelice and at least one other suspect shot Mandy Jo Jenkins multiple times on Aug. 23, then dumped her body in North Lindenhurst. DeFelice then reported her missing from their Seabro Avenue apartment, police said.
DeFelice was due to appear in court to face numerous traffic violations the day of the murder, but never showed, court records show. Jenkins’ remains were found Oct. 3 near the corner of North Monroe Street and Frank Street.
As Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla read the allegations before Judge Barbara Kahn, George Allen, Jenkins’ 33-year-old half brother, twice screamed “Murderer!” He then stormed out of the courtroom.
“He gave six different versions of the accounts of Jenkins’ disappearance,” Biancavilla told the court.
Biancavilla said DeFelice’s story varied between what he told a 911 operator, responding officers, detectives who followed up and various other members of law enforcement.
Detective Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky of the Homicide Squad told the Press in August that the apartment the couple shared showed signs of a struggle but DeFelice did not give reasonable answers.
DeFelice has since given police a 12-page written statement, which Biancavilla described as a confession. DeFelice’s Hauppauge-based attorney, George Duncan, maintained his client’s innocence.
Biancavilla said the investigation is continuing. He added that a second suspect is expected to be charged within the next two weeks “for now,” but declined to discuss additional suspects, details or a possible motive for the alleged murder.
David Newbeck, a 33-year-old associate of DeFelice’s, was apprehended on a murder warrant by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at a Houston airport when he attempted to board an international flight Oct. 14.
“She was such a sweet, bubbly person,” said Lisa Koch, who described herself as Jenkins’ best friend. “She always brought a smile to everyone’s faces.”
Koch and Allen held up photos of Jenkins from their seats in the second row of Kahn’s courtroom while fighting back tears as DeFelice was brought into the courtroom to face the charges.
Of the boyfriend now accused of killing Jenkins, Koch said: “She loved him to death.”
DeFelice is due back in court on Nov. 22.