Attorney argues for murder convict to inherit victim’s estate

Attorney backs ‘heir’ raid/Killer con ‘deserves’ victim’s estate
Kieran Crowley
January 4, 2011
New York Post

A young Long Island man who brutally murdered his mother-in-law “is not profiting from her death,” his lawyer insisted yesterday, even though the killer stands to collect nearly a half-million dollars from the slain woman’s estate as early as this week.

Brandon Palladino’s lawyer said the 24-year-old rightfully inherited the money from his wife, Deanna Palladino, who died of an overdose last year.

Deanna was willed the fortune by her mother, Dianne Edwards, 59, whom Palladino choked to death in 2008 when she came home and caught him stealing her jewelry.

Deanna was suspected of conspiring in the theft but was never charged.

“He would be the only heir, because they didn’t have any children,” Palladino’s lawyer, Ray Perini, said.

Deanna loved her husband “dearly and supported him until she died. He’s not profiting from [Edwards'] death. The money passed to his wife, and it was hers to do with as she wanted.”

Brandon will get a check for up to $500,000 as soon as this week, sources said yesterday.

“Morally, it really shocks the conscience. He shouldn’t get a dime!” said Edwards family lawyer Dennis Lemke.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, but action is extremely unlikely to be successful [under current state law],” Lemke said.

Palladino, who admitted to the crime in exchange for a plea deal, is set to be sentenced to just 5 to 25 years next week.

“Perhaps the murderer’s family will have a conscience and return the estate to the proper owners — the family of the victim,” Lemke said.

A source said that a Suffolk prosecutor asked him to give up his inheritance as part of the plea bargain and that Palladino refused.

The total estate was estimated at about $680,000 — $581,000 after debts, according to sources and court documents.

Deanna Palladino received her mom’s $190,000 in savings after her death, sources said. She used most of it to bankroll her husband’s defense.

The victim’s five-bedroom Melville home was sold in November for $340,000.

After debts, the profit from the sale of the home came to $241,000. The slain woman’s personal property was estimated at about $150,000.

“It doesn’t make sense. He can’t profit from this,” insisted Donna Larsen, the sister of the murdered woman.

“He robbed her before he murdered her, and now he’s robbing her again after her death,” said Larsen’s husband, Andy.