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Jewel heist suspects from 121 St.

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Christopher DiMeo and Nicole Pearce, 23, returned after committing the crimes to their apartment at 89-51 121 St. where they had been living since January, said Nassau Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla.The two were charged with the fatal shootings of a Long Island jeweler Dec. 21 and a husband and wife who owned a Fairfield, Conn. jewelry store Feb. 2, police said. DiMeo's mother, Maryann Taylor-Casey, 40, of Hicksville, L.I. was also arrested for allegedly acting as the duo's getaway car driver, police reported. The couple was arrested Feb. 4 in a Atlantic City motel room where they had taken a bus to from New York City.Police later searched the Richmond Hill residence and found evidence connecting DiMeo and Pearce to the jewelry store murders, according to Biancavilla.A neighbor who lives across the street from the house remembers seeing police swarming over the residence all day Feb. 4."It's creepy knowing that he was right there," she said. "You just never know what's going to happen around you."One next door neighbor said she never came in contact with DiMeo or Pearce. "He must have come and gone during the night," she said. "It's scary to know he was living there for two months after hearing about what he did."The DA said the two, who had been living in Southern California, had been scouting the two jewelry stores since they moved to the city in October.DiMeo and Pearce, who police said are addicted to heroin, have been receiving drug treatment while in custody at separate Long Island jails, Biancavilla said. At a court appearance Monday Pearce's attorney insisted his client was coerced unwillingly into committing the crimes by her boyfriend, DiMeo - a claim that Biancavilla called "preposterous.""She was involved in the plot from the beginning," he said on the phone Tuesday. "She had many opportunities to flee and plenty of cash to support her."Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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