Italian man kills partner, fakes accident to cover up crime

Siracuse, Sep 7 (IANS/AKI) A man killed his common-law wife in Sicily in March during a row over 20 euros and tried to make it look as if she died in a domestic accident, police said Thursday.

Sebastiano Iemmolo, 36, was arrested in the town of Pachino on Wednesday for the murder of his partner, Laura Pirri, 31, who died in hospital in Palermo on March 25, 18 days after she was admitted there with severe burns.

Iemmolo faces charges of murder, mistreatment, assault, causing a fire and slander, police said.

He had doused Pirri with flammable liquid and set her ablaze, before blowing up a cooking-gas canister and telling police there had been an accident, according to investigators.

Police opened a probe after the victim’s mother told investigators the couple’s 10-year-old son had witnessed Iemmolo attack Pirri.

As part of the investigation, police bugged Iemmolo’s mother’s home, where he went to live after the attack.

Iemmolo is known to have a violent nature and had assaulted Pirri in the past. He also set fire to a neighbour’s car during a petty dispute, investigators said.

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