STAMFORD – Iranian-American Sheila Davalloo, former pharmaceutical researcher who was convicted of killing Filipino-American Anna Lisa Raymundo in 2002, received recently a 50-year prison sentence, a punishment that effectively keeps her behind bars for the rest of her life.
Her total sentence ends in 2079.
Davalloo, 42, must finish the remainder of a 25-year-prison sentence in New York state for the attempted murder of her ex-husband in 2003 before she begins serving jail time in Connecticut for the Raymundo killing.
Judge Richard Comerford handed down the 50-year prison term during a sentencing hearing held last April 27 at state Superior Court in Stamford after listening to pleas for a 60-year maximum sentence from Raymundo’s parents (who hail from Pasig City, Philippines).
Comerford, who presided over a two-and-half week trial earlier this year that ended with Davalloo’s guilty verdict, described the murder as cold and calculated as he prepared to impose the sentence. He invoked religious images at certain moments, referencing the circles of hell from Dante’s “Inferno.”
“I hope you will be sure to contribute to those with whom you are incarcerated,” Comerford told Davalloo. “I think the victim here would ask you to do that. She was a good soul. She was a charitable person.”
Davalloo faced between 25 and 60 years in prison for the Raymundo killing.
Stamford Police Department investigators arrested her in 2008 and charged her with stabbing and bludgeoning Raymundo, a 32-year-old former co-worker at Purdue Pharma in Stamford, to death on Nov. 8, 2002. Authorities found Raymundo’s body near the front entrance of her Shippan condo amid signs of a violent struggle.
Davalloo didn’t become a suspect until March 2003, when she was arrested for stabbing her then-husband several times during a game involving handcuffs and blindfolds.
An investigation into the attempted murder exposed Davalloo’s affair with Nelson Sessler, another Purdue Pharma co-worker who began dating Raymundo after a brief relationship with Davalloo.
Investigators found Davalloo’s DNA in a blood stain left on a bathroom sink handle, which authorities say the killer used to clean up after brutally killing Raymundo.
Stamford police officers arrested Davalloo in 2008 while she was serving prison time following a guilty conviction for the attempted murder of her ex-husband. Authorities believed Davalloo wanted to kill both Raymundo and her ex-husband as part of an obsessive desire to rekindle her affair with Sessler.
The prosecutor during the Stamford trial, Supervisory State’s Attorney James Bernardi, recounted the state’s case against Davalloo during the hearing, describing the events leading up to and after the Raymundo murder as similar to Greek tragedy.
“Witness by witness, it revealed a tale of obsessive vanity,” Bernardi said of the trial.
Davalloo, who turns 43 next month, will be 60 when she begins serving the 50-year prison sentence, public defender Barry Butler said. Even sentences closer to the 25-year minimum would have kept Davalloo incarcerated for the rest of her life.
Davalloo represented herself during the trial, but chose to have Butler handle her affairs following the trial.
“For all intents and purposes, they are all life sentences,” Butler said during the hearing.
Butler argued for a sentence near the 25-year minimum. He cited Davalloo’s troubled mental health history and the fact that even a light sentence would keep her incarcerated well into her 90s.
Before receiving her sentence, Davalloo addressed, saying “First and foremost, I’d like to thank God for giving me the strength and the courage to stand here today. It was hard to sit here and withstand those harsh words.” (Stamford Advocate)