Jury finds Dicke guilty of murdering Danielle Distefano

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Defense attorney Anthony DeFazio (standing) in his closing arguments for the Dicke murder trial.
William Dicke

POUGHKEEPSIE – The jury in the murder trial of William Dicke has found him guilty of murdering 35-year-old Danielle Distefano in January 2022.

Dicke was also found guilty of manslaughter for the death of his girlfriend.

The jury heard testimony all this week in Dutchess County Court Judge Jessica Segal’s courtroom before beginning deliberations after lunch on Friday.

Dicke is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Segal on February 21, 2023.

Dicke was accused of running over Distefano with a van during a domestic dispute on January 21, 2022, in Rhinebeck.  The Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office alleged that Dicke then placed Distefano in her apartment, still alive, and staged the scene to hide the actual cause of death.

He was charged with murder for intentionally knowing that his actions would lead to her death.  Alive and suffering from internal bleeding, the prosecution said he knew his actions would cause her death, which is why he was also charged with manslaughter.

The full coverage of the incident and subsequent Mid-Hudson News coverage can be found here.

Dicke’s attorney, Anthony DeFazio hinted at an appeal after the verdict, saying, “There’s never been any evidence established as to what happened between 11:45 p.m. and 1:15 a.m. in that house and I think that’s critical to determine whether he was guilty of these crimes. I think the evidence was very lacking for a conviction on either charge.”

DeFazio also said an appeal is being considered because the law requires that a person knowingly caused the death of another in order to be charged with murder.  “There’s no proof that my client knew she was going to die,” noting that even the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s doctor testified that she was unable to determine the cause of death until the autopsy.