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Long Island man charged in Jamaica trunk slaying

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The man, Steven Schiovone, 35, of 104 Harvest Lane in Levittown, had impregnated the woman, the estranged wife of his half-brother, and wanted to keep her condition a secret, police sources said in news reports. In an unrelated news conference Friday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed the reports when he said the suspected motive was an "issue over having an abortion.". After the woman's killing, her family said she had been scheduled to meet with her estranged husband and thought she was going to tell him of the pregnancy, news reports said.Schiovone's lawyer, William Petrillo, maintained his client's innocence."There's a lot more to this story than has been told," Petrillo said, without elaborating. "We stand by his plea of not guilty."Schiovone, a warehouse manager, entered the plea during his arraignment in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens Friday, Brown said. He was charged with both murder and depraved indifference murder in the death of Susan Ambrosino, 26, of Franklin Square, L.I., as well as criminal possession of a weapon, Brown said. Schiovone was remanded without bail and must next return to court March 15. If convicted of the charges, he could face up to 25 years to life in prison."The defendant has been charged with fatally shooting the victim once in the head with an illegal handgun," DA Brown said. Neither Schiovone's nor Ambrosino's families could be reached for comment. The 26-year-old woman, a secretary, was reported missing by relatives early Tuesday after she failed to return home, and Nassau County police began an investigation, the DA said. Later in the day, a passerby found a purse near a red Nissan Altima-the victim's car-at 178th Street and Jamaica Avenue and called police after finding identification inside, Brown said. It was unclear how or why Ambrosino ended up in Jamaica.Nassau County police arrested Schiovone Wednesday on charges of driving without a seatbelt and with a suspended license and registration, but did not have enough evidence at the time to charge him in Ambrosino's murder, the DA said. That changed when Schiovone asked a friend to hold onto a .380 caliber handgun for him and the friend turned in the suspected murder weapon to police, a law enforcement source said.During Schiovone's arraignment Friday, an assistant district attorney told the court that the defendant had sighed when being booked at a police station after he saw on television that his friend was cooperating with authorities, a law enforcement official who witnessed the hearing said.Ambrosino was four months pregnant and also had an 8-year-old daughter with a man whose identity could not be determined, DA Brown said. Schiovone had another girlfriend who was also pregnant, news reports said.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone ay 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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