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Ossipee man gets 35 years to life in young mother's murder
Michael Petelis is escorted out of the courtroom at Carroll County Superior Court after entering a guilty plea as an accomplice to second-degree murder for his role in the killing of Krista Dittmeyer in April of 2011. (LARISSA MULKERN)
Michael Petelis, 29, of Ossipee, appeared with his attorney, Ted Barnes of Concord, before state prosecutors and Judge Philip Mangones in Carroll County Superior Court.
Answering questions from the judge about waivers, the charges and his constitutional rights, Petelis admitted to helping Anthony Papile, 29, of Ossipee plan and execute the murder of Dittmeyer in North Conway on April 23, 2011.
Petelis was one of the three suspects arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Dittmeyer, whose body was found in a snowmaking pond in North Conway several days after her 14-month-old daughter was found sleeping in her car parked nearby. Anthony Papile, 29, of Ossipee, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a 50-year jail term. Trevor Ferguson is serving a six-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to two felony charges, conspiracy to commit robbery and hindering apprehension or prosecution.
Petelis had initially been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, but at Wednesday's hearing assistant attorney general James Vara brought forth one new count of accomplice to second-degree murder. Petelis waived his right to have the charge brought before a grand jury and waived his right to a trial.
Mangones approved the terms of the negotiated plea and sentence, including the possibility that Petelis can shave two and a half years off his jail term if he completes drug and alcohol counseling, another two and a half years if he obtains an associate's degree while incarcerated, and another two and a half years if he stays out of trouble in jail. Mangones granted Petelis credit for 659 days of pretrial confinement.
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