At least five years ago or more, a wife of a well-known attorney was killed by a male teenager. She was alone on their property near Danville. The house was under construction. What was the outcome of the trial, or was there a plea bargain?
– Andrea, Sacramento
A Contra Costa County jury convicted Scott Dyleski of first-degree murder in the Oct. 15, 2005, slaying of 52-year-old Pamela Vitale, Dyleski’s neighbor in the East Bay community of Lafayette.
The jury also convicted Dyleski of the special circumstance of murder in the commission of a burglary, a finding that carried a sentence of life in prison without parole. Now 25 years old, Dyleski is incarcerated at California State Prison, Corcoran.
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According to news accounts, evidence at trial showed that Dyleski, then 16 years old, entered Vitale’s home as she worked at her computer and bludgeoned her with a blunt object, then stabbed her. The prosecutor said during the trial that Dyleski killed Vitale partly because he believed she was a different neighbor who had foiled his plan to use stolen credit card information to buy marijuana-growing equipment and had accidentally run over and injured his dog.
Vitale’s husband was veteran criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz.