Jury begins deliberating fate of Paul Senecal after murder trial

Accused murderer Paul Senecal (beard and glasses) observing court proceedings.

POUGHKEEPSIE – The murder trial of 38-year-old Paul Senecal has concluded and the jury began deliberating his fate on Thursday afternoon.  Senecal is charged with murdering Melanie Chianese, 29, in May of last year in the Town of Wappinger.  Chianese was the daughter of Senecal’s ex-girlfriend.

Senecal took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday and tried to convince the jury that his mental health issues caused him to commit the murder.  The devil told me to do it,” he said when asked why he killed Melanie.  He also indicated that he was hearing the voices of demons, one named David, that encouraged him to kill the victim.

Three mental health professionals evaluated Senecal before the start of the trial and determined that he was competent to stand trial.

The original account of the murder, as reported by Mid-Hudson News, can be found here.