It took an Oneida County jury about 90 minutes to find Jason D'Avolio guilty of second-degree murder, in the death of his estranged wife, Kerrilee D'Avolio. The jury heard dozens of witnesses and saw graphic crime scene and autopsy photos over about a three-week period. Kerrilee's family was in court. Their relief at hearing the jury foreperson say the word, "guilty", was palpable. Their gratitude toward those who made it happen,is immeasurable.
"Everybody in the community, Mayor Izzo, the District Attorney's Office, investigators, the workers at the landfill that stayed overtime, didn't even go home to their families to find Kerri and bring her home," said Hope Wagner.
The jury also found D'Avolio guilty of concealment of a human corpse, for putting his estranged wife's body in a dumpster. They returned their guilty verdicts only minutes after asking to see the gun that was used in this case. The defense had the insurmountable task of trying to prove that a depressed Kerrilee D'Avolio shot herself in the back of the head, using a long gun.
"I think we tried to show that that was possible, but was it likely? Was it probable? "And I pointed out that everything that's been done, has been done a first time at some point," said Defense Attorney, Leland McCormac.
The prosecution said rejection and rage made the man the defense said was such a devoted and loving father and husband, kill the mother of his three young daughters, and put her body in a dumpster.
"As Kerrilee attempted to exit the toxicity of her marriage and reintroduce herself into the world, I think ultimately that this defendant could not accept it," said Prosecutor, Michael Coluzza. "In the end, I think he saw her as an object that was in his way and he made that decision to eliminate the object from his path and it was driven by jealousy, rage but also by practicality; he needed her out of the way," added Coluzza, who at trial presented evidence that suggested Jason D'Avolio was concerned about the potential for a costly custody battle he might lose.
Hope Wagner says there was so much more to her daughter than was brought out at trial.
"Kerri was a beautiful person. She was exceeding in life and she just got promoted. She was a wonderful mother. A wonderful mother," said Wagner. "She had everything to live for."
Jason D'Avolio faces 25 years to life in prison at his Jan.12 sentencing. His attorney is planning an appeal.