Man Who Found Victims Says McGilberry Belongs On Death Row - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/15/05

Man Who Found Victims Says McGilberry Belongs On Death Row

Tommy Pietrangelo can still vividly remember the night ten years ago when he found the bodies of his fiance and her family in their St. Martin home.

"I was looking all around the house for Chris and noticed he was laying on the couch. I say, oh please God, please God, no. Let him be sleeping or something."

The three-year-old was the last body Pietrangelo found as he rushed through the St. Martin home in October of 1994.

Pietrangelo was engaged to the baby's mother, 24-year-old Kim Self, and had gone to her home to check on her.

The gruesome murder scene he found when he got there still haunts him today.

"It's there, everyday. It's there everyday, everywhere I look, everywhere I go. It's always with me. I just feel like I got sentenced for the rest of my life."

With the Supreme Court's recent ruling against any juvenile death sentence, Pietrangelo feels he's the only one suffering now.

He says life in prison for Stephen McGilberry is no punishment at all.

"Going to jail didn't bother him. It was like he was going out to hang with his buddies. The state comes and takes the death penalty off of him, so now he ain't got nothing to sweat."

Pietrangelo says McGilberry was tried as an adult and given the death penalty because of the brutality of the crime. He beat his family to death with a baseball bat.

"It's not like he went in there and shot everybody in the head and killed them. These people suffered. These people were tortured before they were killed.

"I'd like to get it reversed."

Pietrangelo hopes at some point the courts will take a special look at the McGilberry case and give the convicted murderer the sentence he deserves.

By Jaimee Goad

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