A Connecticut man who is accused of killing two people in Connecticut in May, holding another hostage and kidnapping a woman and driving her out of state pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
An attorney for 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia also waived his client's right to a probable cause hearing.
Manfredonia appeared by video conference from prison due to COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the arrest warrant, police believe that Manfredonia attacked two men on Mirtl Road in Willington on May 22 with a samurai sword.
Both men were severely injured and 62-year-old Ted DeMers died of his injuries.
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The second victim, an 80-year-old man who has not been publicly identified, survived the attack and underwent surgery for his injuries.
In a wooded area near the scene, investigators found a bent samurai sword that appeared to have blood on it. Police also found Manfredonia's cell phone and his driver's license, according to the arrest affidavit.
A witness who knew Manfredonia told police that the UConn student was obsessed with samurai swords, according to the arrest warrant.
Witnesses told police that the suspect fled from the scene on a red motorcycle. Investigators later found a red Kawasaki motorcycle abandoned on Old Town Road in Willington. It was registered to Manfredonia, police said.
Two days after the attack in Willington, Derby police contacted state police about a Ford F-150 that was found abandoned after a minor accident in their city. The truck was registered to a man in Willington.
When state police went to the man's home and he didn't answer a knock on the door, they forced their way in and found the 73-year-old tied up to a chair in the basement.
The man told police that Manfredonia had held him at gunpoint and tied him up early on the morning of Saturday, May 23, according to the arrest affidavit. He said the two watched TV in the basement for hours and talked about what happened.
The victim told investigators he asked Manfredonia if he wanted to talk about what happened and Manfredonia told him he hadn't slept in five days that that “he just flipped,” according to the warrant.
He told the victim he didn't know why he did what he did but that he was remorseful, according to the warrant.
The victim asked Manfredonia if he wanted to call police and turn himself in, but Manfredonia told the man that wasn't an option, according to the arrest warrant, and he said he would have two good weeks and it would either end with a shootout, the death penalty, or life in prison.
Manfredonia and Eisele were childhood friends who grew up together in Newtown. Police have not released any possible motive in Eisele's death.
Manfredonia was captured in Hagerstown, Maryland, after a multi-state manhunt five days after the initial attack and he was brought back to Connecticut.
He has been charged with murder, attempt to commit murder, assault in the first degree, home invasion, kidnapping, robbery, stealing a firearm, and additional charges.
Bond was set at $7 million. Manfredonia remains in custody.