A 23-year-old man accused of strangling a Greenport woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder, according to a Suffolk police press release.
Jaime DeLeon-Tino was arrested on Osborn Avenue in Riverhead shortly before 2:10 p.m., police said.
Southold police found Michelle Schiavoni, 27, dead in her home at 325 Second St. around 10 p.m. Monday, officials said.
Neighbors told The Suffolk Times that police officers arrived in the area late Monday night and remained on scene until Tuesday morning.
Southold police started the death investigation and turned it over to the Suffolk County Police Department Homicide Squad, officials said.
Mr. DeLeon-Tino was held at Southold police headquarters overnight and was set to be arraigned Wednesday in Southold Town Justice Court, but assistant district attorney Elizabeth Creighton requested a grand jury indictment. Mr. DeLeon-Tino was remanded to jail without bail after entering a not guilty plea and his next court date is set for Friday, July 21.
A group of Ms. Schiavoni’s family and friends sat in the first two rows of the courtroom, some crying when Mr. DeLeon-Tino was escorted in wearing a white jumpsuit. One family member cried out, “Oh my God,” just before court proceedings began.
They declined comment outside the courtroom.
The charge against Mr. DeLeon-Tino says he provided statements to police admitting to choking Ms. Schiavoni, according to a court document provided by District Attorney spokesman Robert Clifford.
Another man, Esvin Rolando Escobar of Greenport, was arrested last summer after he reportedly slashed two people, including Ms. Schiavoni, with a machete at the same address, according to a previous report. Mr. Escobar pleaded guilty Jan. 10 to first- and second-degree assault, Mr. Clifford confirmed Wednesday. Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei sentenced him on March 8 to 10 years in state prison for the first-degree assault conviction and five years for the second-degree assault conviction, plus a total of eight years post-release supervision, Mr. Clifford said.
Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley confirmed Wednesday that Mr. DeLeon-Tino was not involved in that incident. No other details about the homicide investigation were immediately available.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3 p.m Wednesday to reflect how it will appear in this week’s newspaper.
Top photo: Jaime DeLeon-Tino is escorted into Southold Town Justice Court Wednesday. (Credit: Rachel Siford)