June 26, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing and robbing an elderly woman.
As part of a deal with Pinellas County prosecutors to avoid a possible death sentence, 38-year-old Dominic Panzino pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder, grand theft of a vehicle, burglary and scheme to defraud.
Authorities say Panzino went to 91-year-old Kathryn Schroepfor's Clearwater home in May 2012, claiming he needed to use her phone. While Schroepfor wasn't looking, Panzino began rifling through her purse. When she caught him, he began beating her and strangled her.
The Tampa Tribune reports that Panzino fled the state but was eventually arrested in Massachusetts.