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.
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.