Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Guilty plea could mean 30-year term

NEW PORT RICHEY — Nicholas Altamuro pleaded guilty Wednesday to stabbing his ex-girlfriend 51 times one afternoon more than three years ago.

Altamuro, 49, of Holiday could get up to 30 years in prison for attempted murder, according to the plea deal.

Circuit Judge Thane Covert set sentencing for Nov. 26.

Donnalee Johnston, 51, had moved here from New Jersey to try to get away from him. Despite a restraining order he followed her.

On Aug. 24, 2005, Altamuro, shirtless and shaggy-haired, showed up at Johnston's pink-trimmed mobile home in New Port Richey. She dialed 911 before he even got inside. He attacked her in her bedroom on the floor by the TV and stabbed her with two steak knives in her hands, wrists, chest, neck and back.

The 911 tape of the still-open line is hard to listen to.

"I'm going to kill you!"

"Die!"

"Help me!"

In court, where Altamuro sat in his orange and white county jail jump suit with the other inmates, he looked at her too much, Johnston thought. On Wednesday, early in the hearing, he leaned back in his chair and stared.

Johnston stood with a victim's advocate from the Sheriff's Office and held hands. She wiped her eyes with tissues.

"I've been waiting for this," she whispered.

After the judge accepted Altamuro's guilty plea, Johnston stood in the hall outside the courtroom and said she still has nightmares. When she does, she calls the jail, where the workers know her voice.

They tell her he hasn't been released and he's still there. They tell her it's going to be okay.

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6244.

Guilty plea could mean 30-year term 10/22/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more

    Blogs

    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  2. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970

    Obituaries

    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.
  3. Forecast: Minimal rain, for now, as hot temperatures prevail across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expect a calm, rain-free start to Tuesday before showers arrive in the evening.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Afghanistan reaction mixed on Trump's tough-talking speech

    World

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghans on Tuesday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's harsh words for Pakistan in a speech outlining his strategy for the war-torn country that critics said offered little in the way of details and ruled out nation-building.

    President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Va., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan. [Associated Press]