Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fatal Attraction Murder Case

The Verdict and Beyond

On April 16, 1991, David Lewis gave the defense closing statements. "No one saw anything. No one saw a blonde girl go up two flights of stairs and take a gun and silencer, screw it on, get into the house, fire the shots and walk away. Nobody saw that!" he told the jury. He said that Carolyn may have been the victim of a frame-up at the hands of Vincent Parco and Paul Solomon. He dismissed the testimony of each man as a liar and said they could not be believed. As the jurors listened intently, he appealed to their sense of responsibility. "I don't envy your task. I'm glad it's not mine, but in getting ready to do it and in sending you away from me and away from Carolyn, all I can wish you is God speed."

In his closing statement, Assistant District Attorney James McCarty said that the quality of his witnesses was not his fault. "Sometimes you have to get together with a sinner to get the devil," he told the jury. "According to all the credible evidence, the devil in this case is Carolyn Warmus." He described her as "cunning, opportunistic and manipulative in dealing with other people." McCarty also pointed out that the killing of Betty Jeanne was not a crime of sudden passion. He said Carolyn plotted the murder as early as the summer of 1988 when she first asked Parco to get her a gun. He told the jury that "Betty Jeanne Solomon is entitled to a just verdict. We're entitled to a verdict based upon the credible evidence...and the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the credible evidence in this case, is that Carolyn Warmus killed Betty Jeanne Solomon on January 15, 1989."

The jury went out for deliberations on April 17, 1991. After four days with no verdict, patience was wearing thin. On her way to court, reporters besieged Carolyn in the lobby of the courthouse. As cameras flashed in her face she let out an ear-piercing scream that echoed off the walls. When she sat at the defense table a few minutes later she was crying loudly and laid her head on the table.

"I've had it!" she yelled to her lawyer. When questioned by Judge Carey, she sobbed openly in court. "Somebody tripped me, judge, I just can't take it. I'm afraid. Nobody cares about me!"

For the next eleven nail-biting days, they tried to reach a verdict under an umbrella of wild speculation and various prophecies by the media. What was taking so long they wondered? Was Carolyn fated to go free? Was she alone guilty? Was Paul Solomon involved? Would Carolyn get life? There was much speculation in the jury room about reasonable doubt and deep concern over the lack of eyewitnesses. On the 12th day, April 27, Judge Carey made the dramatic announcement to a tense courtroom. It was a hung jury. They were hopelessly deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of conviction. One juror later said, "They couldn't put the gun in her hand in Westchester, and that made it automatically not guilty." When he left the courtroom, Paul Solomon told reporters, "My family and I are devastated by the knowledge that this nightmare must go on." Det. Constantino was equally disturbed and said, "I was very disappointed. There was no doubt in my mind that she committed this murder." The District Attorney's Office soon announced they would seek another trial.

Amidst the uproar on the tenth floor, Carolyn Warmus slipped out of view and left the courthouse unnoticed.

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