Aarons Insurance
Adventures Off Road
Crockett Cinemas
D.E. Hill & SonsDustin's Lawn CareEnvy Tanning & Day SpaFirst Class Charter Fox Sporting GoodsGreens Furniture
Groucho's Tires Hollands PharmacyHood Flora Realty J & G Tire Center
Kelly Appliance & Vacuum
Lawrenceburg Florist Lawrenceburg Glass Lynn Electronics
Markus Insurance Mckelvey's Flowers
Miss Millie'sMo's Pawn Nature's NuggetsNewton Backhoe ServiceOn Second ThoughtOne Stop Medical Pettus Turnbo Funeral Home Randy's Cycle & ATVRent Right Rick's Electrical
Salt GlowSwap and Shop Center True Value HardwareWall-Modrall Insurance



Kelly Appliance & Vacuum 931-244-7200


D.E. Hill & Son 762-9584



J & G Tire Center 931-762-0078




On Second Thought Consignment 931-244-7244


Crockett Cinemas 931-762-6821



One Stop Medical
One Stop Medical 762-9797


On Second Thought Consignment 931-244-7244




Envy Tanning & Spa 931-762-3689


Rick's Electrical & Plumbing 931-242-5325



Lynn Electronics 762-0401


Newton Backhoe Service 931-242-0305


Lawrenceburg Florist 762-3722
McKelvey's Flowers 762-4511


Pettus-Turnbo Funeral Home 762-3291


Green's Furniture
Swap & Shop Center


Miss Millie's 931-762-9577


Lawrenceburg Glass 766-1004



True Value Hardware 762-7516


Salt Glow 931-279-4780

Nature's Nuggests 762-2895



Adventure Off Road 852-5445


Aarons Insurance 931-629-8065
Baker Agency 762-4550
Wall-Modrall Insurance 762-6528


Dixon's Fine Jewelry 762-9979



Dustin's Lawncare
Dustin's Lawn Care 242-4414



NATURAL FOODSNature's Nuggests 762-2895


Randy's Cycle & ATV 762-2450




Mo's Pawn Shop 762-2529



Holland's Pharmacy 931-762-2220


By Pass Pools 931-762-7904


Hood & Hester Realty 244-7555




Fox Sporting Goods 931-766-0313


Envy Tanning & Spa 931-762-3689



Groucho's Tires 931-762-1707


Friday, April 21, 20017

Testimony finished in Passarella murder trial

Lawrenceburg Now

Both the prosecution and the defense wrapped up testimony in court Thursday in the May 19, 2015 murder of sixty-nine year old Lawrenceburg resident Sam John Pasarella.

Pasarrella’s badly beaten body was found inside of his Crockett Senior Housing apartment on Old Florence Road. Reports show his body was lying across his bed with a bread knife in his right hand. He had sustained multiple blows to the face, head and neck from a claw hammer before being stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife.

Investigation into Passarella’s murder was ongoing and it was not until February 4, 2016 that evidence was discovered buried in a chert pit behind the home of one of his close acquaintances, thirty-six year old Lawrenceburg resident Crystal Gregoire.

Detectives went to the scene and were able to recover a bag containing a number of items, including the hammer, two kitchen knives, clothing, towels, washcloths, and empty prescription medication bottles bearing Passarella’s name.

Shortly after the discovery indictments were obtained against Gregoire, charging her with first degree murder, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, and theft.

Jury selection got underway Monday morning. A jury was seated by the end of the day and testimony began first thing Tuesday. Police officers and investigators testified throughout the day, explaining that a large pool of blood was found around Pasarella’s head and his bedroom had been covered in blood spatter.

They testified that there was a void in the blood spatter where a person had been standing. It was clear that many of the drops on the floor had been walked upon before they had dried.

Investigators reported that blood spatter was found on the mattress, underneath the knife in Passarella’s hand. They said that this indicated that the knife had been placed in his hand after the assault had taken place.

A shirt had been placed across part of Pasarella’s face, neck and shoulder, and his cell phone had been dumped into the toilet. Investigators testified that someone had attempted to clean up the scene and had taken the hammer and the knife used to stab him along with other evidence.

On Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from personnel with the physical therapy department at NHC Lawrenceburg. They indicated that in the month prior to Pasarella’s death he had been hospitalized due to pneumonia and heart problems. When he was released from the hospital he was transferred to NHC in the hopes of rebuilding his strength.

They cited evaluations, indicating that he was unable to walk without the aid of a cane or walker. When using a cane, they said he used his other hand to steady himself on a handrail. They said that he lacked the strength to lift his legs onto his bed and that his heart rate and blood pressure increased during any physical activity.

He had poor balance under many circumstances, lacked strength in his lower extremities, had both knees replaced in the past, and suffered from arthritis in his legs and weakness in his hips. They said that at 5’7” tall and weighing in excess of 300 pounds, he was classified as morbidly obese, and was at moderate to high risk for falls.

During a ten day stay at the rehab facility Passarella worked to increase his strength with the goal of being able to walk with a cane, once again. Although they recommended that he undergo physical therapy five times per week for six weeks, he left the facility after ten days because of insurance issues.

They recommended he continue therapy on an outpatient basis. It took a couple of weeks to work through insurance issues and he came in for his first outpatient session the day prior to his death. At that time, they said he was again having heart issues. He came to the facility but left, indicating that he did not feel well enough to complete his therapy.

Though Passarella was weak, therapists indicated that he was somewhat mobile, was able to perform basic functions to care for himself, and had been driving his car.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab personnel testified Wednesday. A specialist in blood and DNA evidence said that she tested numerous items of evidence, including the hammer, knives, a bottle of bleach cleaner found on Passarella’s kitchen counter, clothing, towels, swabs, a latex glove, and various other items.

The knife found in the victim’s hand bore a small amount of blood on the handle. DNA analysis indicated that the blood was from Passarella. On all of the remaining items, although traces of blood were found on some, all of the samples collected were too small or degraded to yield DNA profiles. She said that due to the conditions where many of the items were found, her results were not surprising.

A latent print specialist presented similar results. She analyzed many of the same items, as well as other submissions, for fingerprints. She said that she was unable to find any identifiable prints.

Medical Examiner Dr. Adele Lewis presented findings regarding the injuries Passarella sustained. She told jurors that he had sustained at least twenty separate injuries to his head and neck. He had multiple fractures to his skull and around his eyes.

She discovered lacerations and bruising around his head and face, he had sustained two black eyes, and a part of his right ear had been torn off. His brain was swollen and bruised and he had sustained two deep lacerations to his neck, one of which punctured a large hole in his jugular vein. She said that he did not die immediately; the extent of swelling in the brain would have taken at least ten to fifteen minutes.

TBI Agent Wayne Wesson, who is now retired, was the primary investigator on the case. He testified Wednesday that he had taken several different statements from Gregoire throughout the course of the investigation.

In each instance she named a different suspect, leading to many changes of direction in the investigation. He said that Gregoire gave information that allowed them to recover TBI-issued documents generated in connection with a drug investigation into another person.

In the documents, the informant indicated that he had been selling between ten and twelve pounds of marijuana to Passarella each week. Gregoire told investigators that the documents might have led to his death. They were able to recover the documents from the underside of a recliner in Passarella’s home.

Wesson detailed the investigation into around five different suspects named by Gregoire who were said to be Passarella’s drug associates. In each instance, he said they were unable to tie the suspect to the murder. He said that on February 4, 2016 he went to interview Gregoire once again after he had, “Tracked down a multitude of people associated with (Passarella) and had eliminated everyone except her.”

Wesson said that Gregoire gave two different statements that day, first indicating that she had been at Passarella’s home the night he was killed. She said a drug associate had stopped by and they became engaged in an argument.

She said they began to fight over pills while she was in the bathroom, she heard him cry out, and when she came out he was lying on the bed, face up, taking his last breath. He said Gregoire told him she tried to save Passarella but couldn’t, so she changed her clothes and left. She said the associate must have taken her daughter’s bag from Pasarella’s home and “buried the stuff behind her house.”

Wesson testified that he told Gregoire he did not believe her statement. He said he suggested that her live-in boyfriend might have been with her and that she then made another statement, implicating him in the murder and cover up.

Wesson said it was later that evening, after he had finished speaking with Gregoire, that he was notified that the items had been discovered buried behind the trailer in which she lived at the time of Passarella’s death. He said that he interviewed her boyfriend the following morning. Once he was convinced that he was not involved, he said he presented evidence in the case to a special session of the Lawrence County Grand Jury and the panel opted to return the indictments against her.

Wesson made his way back to Giles County on February 5, 2015 to arrest Gregoire on the indictments. She then gave another statement about the events leading to Passarella’s death.

At press time Thursday all proof had been presented in the case. Jurors were scheduled to gather Friday morning to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations.






Lawrenceburg Now