CONCORD — A Nashua woman’s bid to have her prison sentence commuted for her part in the 2003 murder of her mother remained alive Wednesday after the Executive Council agreed to study the matter further over the next two weeks.
Nicole Kasinskas pleaded guilty in 2005 and was sentenced to 37½ years in prison.
The 4-1 vote of the council to table this matter marked a victory of sorts for Kasinskas, 32.
Requests from convicted offenders to commute a sentence or grant a pardon are routinely turned down.
Councilor Michael Cryans, D-Hanover, said he wanted more time to read the lengthy background file on the case.
This came after two councilors publicly split on whether to grant Kasinskas a hearing.
Councilor Andru Volinsky, D-Concord, said he was for a hearing while Councilor Debora Pignatelli, D-Nashua, opposed one.
“I can sympathize with both Debora and Andy’s comments, but for me, I would like an opportunity to delve into this further. I could come down on either side in the future,” Cryans said.
Pignatelli noted Jeanne Dominico was murdered in Pignatelli’s hometown.
“It was a horrific crime and it was unspeakable,” she said.
“I am not going to vote in favor of this commutation right now for Ms. Kasinskas. She has acquitted herself well while in prison and I commend her for that. I can also see a time when I might consider a commutation for her sentence, but for me that time is not right now.”
Volinsky, a Democratic candidate for governor and Manchester lawyer, said Kasinskas at least deserved a hearing.
“I can’t tell from the paper record whether this was truly a domestic violence situation for Ms. Kasinskas or not, whether she was manipulated by her former boyfriend,” Volinsky said. “I would grant her a hearing so that we could at least hear her out and determine if this was domestic violence.”
The vote to table the item was 4-1, with Councilor Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester, the lone opponent to putting the matter off.
Gov. Chris Sununu has yet to publicly weigh in on the request.
The two-term Republican governor has routinely opposed most pardons and commutation requests.
Kasinskas testified against her former boyfriend, William Sullivan, who brutally beat Dominico with a baseball bat and then stabbed her 40 times while her daughter was at a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store, prosecutors said.
Kasinskas admitted she went to the scene soon after the murder and stepped over her mother’s body to fetch a cloth to help clean up the blood.
Prosecutors said Nicole Kasinskas and Sullivan murdered Dominico because she refused to let the two teenagers live together. Sullivan was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
Wil Delker, the senior assistant attorney general who prosecuted Kasinskas’ case, said she had two and a half years taken off her sentence for furthering her education. Terms of the deal allowed her to seek a further reduction after serving two-thirds of her sentence, which won’t be until 2031.
Delker is now a superior court judge.
Volinsky said Delker placed an “unusual memo” in the file about this case that was meant to address a potential reduction or commutation of her sentence in the future.