Vince Marinello

This case would be one that if you ever watch the television show How to get Away with Murder would be used as a case on what NOT to do.  I mentioned in the last blog that I finished that the defense in that case had all but said their client was an idiot, which was not the case there, but surely qualifies here.

On August 31, 2006 in Metairie Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, Mary Elizabeth Marinello was headed to her car after a therapy appointment when she was gunned down in the parking lot.  It was 4:00 in the afternoon.  She would be shot twice in the face and die the next day at the hospital.

Witnesses would say that they saw a "scruffy" man near the area and take off on a bicycle.  Surveillance video from the parking lot would show this person pacing back and forth through the parking lot for about twenty-five minutes for the shooting.  While some argued that the video was grainy and unclear to the point of not being able to be sure the gender of the person, the witnesses said it was a man.  About three blocks away more witnesses would come forward to say they saw a "scruffy" man on a bicycle pull up to a white car and place the bicycle in the trunk.

Investigators would soon learn that Mary Elizabeth was the third wife of popular and well known television and radio sports announcer, Vince Marinello. They would be talking to him very quickly.  You have to remember that although Hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans in August of 2005, by the next year things were still a mess.  Vince Marinello's home had been destroyed and he was living in a FEMA trailer.  Investigators would first be intrigued when they saw a white Ford Taurus outside Marinello's trailer.  

Several things in my research stated that Marinello would claim that he had gone to Jackson Mississippi on that day to watch a football game with friends, indicating he was at least on the road to get here.  The football game started at 6:30 in the evening but the friends would say that Marinello did not arrive until sometime after 7:30.  I was a bit confused though because while the distance between Jackson Mississippi and New Orleans is 186 miles for a time of almost three hours I also saw a reference that during his trial there was an issue of checking the distance between New Orleans and Fluker Louisiana.  I could not determine where this came in at but there was apparently a debate on if he could go what they said was 78 miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. This was brought up in an appeal that Marinello would file arguing that his defense team had not gotten an expert to track the distance and timing between the two areas.  

But, what really got Marinello, and why I stated this is a case that should be referenced in teaching killer what not to do, was the checklist that investigators found inside his FEMA trailer.  Making a list seemed to be a "thing" of Marinello that he had used quite often in his work in sports and was known to make them before a broadcast.  This list was much different though.  It said things like "burn the clothes," "paint the bike," "discard the mustache," and "throw gun in river."  He even told himself to "act normal."  To be fair he must have done everything on his list because authorities never found his clothes, bike, mustache or the gun.  In court Marinello would testify and admit that he made this list but he would claim it was made after the murder and he had done so to help "prove" his "innocence."  Yeah, neither the investigators, prosecutors nor the jury believed this story.

Investigators had also discovered that just prior to the murder Marinello had gone to a gun shop with a .38 caliber gun.  He had test fired the gun at the shop and proceeded to buy nylon coated bullets which apparently according to the investigators was a rare type of bullet but was also the type used in the shooting. And, while the gun was never found the friends that he had visited on the night of the murder would say they owned a .38 caliber gun and that Marinello knew where it was kept. When they, with the investigators looked, the gun was missing. Investigators also talked to an employee at a costume shop who would say that Marinello had come in there and bought a fake mustache. The sales person remembered mentioning a beard also but said that Marinello said he already had one.  

It had been learned that Mary Elizabeth and Vince Marinello had been married in October of 2004 but things were never really good.  In May of 2005 the police were called to the home and Marinello filed domestic violence charges against Mary Elizabeth.  According to her family however she was the one who had bruises and had claimed Marinello had put them there.  

As far as the status of their marriage at the time of the shooting and how it had gotten there by that time I am a bit confused.  The one thing I can verify it seems is that the couple was "estranged." A lot of information stated that Mary Elizabeth had filed for divorce from Vince.  Some of it said she did so after learning he had not been legally divorced from his second wife when they married.  Other things indicate that she had already filed for divorce and then learned he had not been legally divorced.  Still others say she did not file for divorce but for an annulment.  The latter would make sense if she had found out prior to filing for divorce.  Prosecutors would say that the motive for the shooting came from the fact that she was supposedly threatening to go public and call him a bigamist.  They argued at trial that Vince Marinello was a "big man" with a "big ego" in New Orleans and that this revelation would tarnish his image.  In his later appeal Marinello would argue that some of the things the prosecution mentioned in this area, such as the fact that he wore a hair piece, should not have been allowed because it tainted the jury.  

It took the jury, that had been taken from Lafayette Louisiana, some two and a half hours from New Orleans due to his reputation, all of one hour to determine that Vince Marinello was guilty of the 2nd degree (which is what he was strangely charged) murder of his wife.  He was sentenced to life in prison.  

A week after his sentencing he would suffer a heart attack while in jail.  Once he recovered he was put back in the Louisiana prison system but to be honest I cannot find him.  Louisiana is one of those really strange states to find inmates as they go through another website.  I found nothing to indicate that Vince Marinello was not his proper name but considering his career it is possible and the website I am forced to use requires both a first and last name to obtain a search so that may be the answer.  In 2007 when he was convicted he was seventy-one years old and he obviously has health issues but I found no indication that he has died.  I can only assume since his conviction and sentence were affirmed and upheld that he remains behind bars.  

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