Dicke sentenced to prison for killing girlfriend and staging crime scene

William Dicke during his murder trial.

POUGHKEEPSIE – William Dicke, convicted of murder and manslaughter for the January 2022 death of his girlfriend, Danielle Distefano, was sentenced to prison on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Dutchess County Court Judge Jessica Segal ordered the 43-year-old Rhinebeck resident to spend 25 years to life in prison on the murder conviction and a concurrent sentence of 7.5 to 15 years for the manslaughter conviction.

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.

At sentencing, it was noted that Dicke has a previous conviction for filing a false report with the police, prompting Judge Segal to point out that the defendant has a history of being untruthful, and his repeated lies during the investigation further demonstrated his difficulty in telling the truth.  The judge also pointed out that, throughout the entire proceeding, the defendant showed no signs of sympathy or remorse.

Dicke, who showed no emotions during the trial, maintained his innocence.  Speaking at his sentencing, he proclaimed, “I can’t show remorse for something I didn’t do.”

Dicke’s attorney, Anthony DeFazio, hinted at an appeal after the jury delivered the verdict in January. “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,” the attorney said.

The Mid-Hudson News coverage of the murder and trial can be found here.