Home News Sentence shortened again for former NJ teacher convicted of killing NYPD cop...

Sentence shortened again for former NJ teacher convicted of killing NYPD cop boyfriend

A former New Jersey elementary school teacher twice convicted of killing her retired NYPD police officer boyfriend had her prison sentenced shortened Wednesday from 20 to 18 years by a State Superior Court judge.

Virginia Vertetis was initially sentenced to 30 years in 2017 after she was convicted of killing Patrick Gilhuley, according to the New Jersey Herald. But an appellate court overturned that verdict in 2020 due to a jury instruction error.

The following year, Vertetis rendered a guilty plea that came with a 20-year sentence for manslaughter. However, an appeals court again overturned that sentence, ruling it was wrongfully imposed based on aggravating factors that weren’t supported by evidence.

On Wednesday, a New Jersey judge trimmed two years off that term due to the error committed by the bench, the Herald reports.

Sentencing guidelines reportedly call for the 62-year-old convict to serve at least 85% of that prison time, which comes out to more than 15 years. She has already served nearly six years behind bars.

Vertetis unsuccessfully pleaded not guilty by reason of self-defense in her first trial. According to the defendant, the victim choked her and said he would kill her before she shot him with a gun he kept under the mattress of her New Jersey home, according to CBS News.

The victim’s daughter, Jennifer Gilhuley, told investigators she was on the phone with her dad when he was killed.

Gilhuley allegedly made several “frantic” calls to his daughter the night he died.

911 recordings indicated Vertetis told police she believed someone was breaking into her home, but prosecutors charged during trial that wasn’t true.

Vertetis and Gilhuley had reportedly been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship for roughly five years. Gilhuley was a retired cop reportedly working as a celebrity bodyguard at the time of his death.

His mother, daughter and brother attended Vertetis’ sentencing hearing, where they accused her of trying to “manipulate” the legal system.


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