Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced Donatila O’Mahony, 43, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after a jury found her guilty of killing Lee Pedersen, 69, of Aquebogue, in March 2020. O’Mahony was also sentenced to a consecutive prison term of two and one third to seven years in prison for possessing a forged version of the victim’s will in an attempt to steal one of the homes he owned.
“This was a cold-blooded killing fueled by greed, treachery, and the complete disregard for Lee Pedersen’s life, all in order to steal the victim’s home,” said District Attorney Tierney. “The only new home this defendant will be living in as a result of her actions, is prison.”
The evidence at trial established that on March 8, 2020, Pedersen’s body was discovered with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head in his Aquebogue home. The police determined several items, including Pedersen’s phone, car keys, and cash, were missing from his home. They subsequently obtained surveillance video, cell phone and cell site records, and conducted interviews with several of Pedersen’s friends including O’Mahony.
Prior to the murder, in 2019, O’Mahony asked a friend in New Jersey to purchase a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, which she would later use to kill Pedersen. On the night of the murder, she borrowed that same friend’s car, which was captured on video surveillance in the area of Pedersen’s home. That car was also captured on video surveillance returning to O’Mahony’s home several hours after the murder.
When O’Mahony later returned to her own home, she asked her friend from New Jersey to dispose of several items, including the Sig Sauer 9mm handgun he had purchased for her, ammunition, and clothes. O’Mahony’s friend destroyed the handgun and disposed of the clothes, but kept the plastic bag of ammunition in his home in New Jersey. The bag of ammunition was subsequently recovered by police and swabbed for DNA. The Suffolk County Crime Laboratory then conducted a forensic analysis which revealed the presence of both O’Mahony’s and Pedersen’s DNA on the swabs.
O’Mahony was also found in possession of a will that was forged to appear that Pedersen had willed his home to O’Mahony. During the police investigation, Pedersen’s authentic will was recovered, which did not state O’Mahony was to inherit one of Pedersen’s properties as state in the forged will.
On January 24, 2023, O’Mahony was convicted after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Timothy P. Mazzei, for the crimes of Murder in the Second Degree, a Class A felony, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D felony, and Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class D felony. On March 2, 2023, she was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the homicide, and two and one third to seven years in prison for each charge related to the forged will. The prison terms imposed for the Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree charge and the Attempted Grand Larceny charge will run concurrently with each other, but consecutive to the prison term imposed for the Murder in the Second Degree charge. O’Mahony was represented by Ira Weissman, Esq.
This case was prosecuted by Principal Assistant District Attorney Frank Schroeder of the Homicide Bureau and Principal Assistant District Attorney Melissa Grier of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau.