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Hernando rampage: Shooting victim offers emotional testimony

BROOKSVILLE — Amy Green, eyes steeped in anger, pointed at John Kalisz.

"That is the man who shot us," she said, her voice rising. "That is the man who shot his sister."

Green, formerly known as Amy Wilson, offered emotional, powerful testimony in Hernando County Circuit Court on Friday morning. She took the stand a few hours before jurors in Kalisz's capital murder trial heard a recorded interview — littered with incriminating statements — that the defendant gave to investigators two weeks after the killings.

Authorities say that on Jan. 14, 2010, Kalisz killed his sister, Kathryn "Kitty" Donovan, and her office manager, Deborah Tillotson, in Donovan's home on Wilhelm Road, west of Brooksville. He's also accused of shooting his niece, Manessa Donovan, and Green, an employee at Donovan's home-based business.

Glaring at Kalisz, Green told jurors that in the moments before the rampage she was standing in the back yard and walking toward the home. Tillotson was on the back porch smoking a cigarette. Manessa was petting her horse.

Green heard a loud bang and then saw Kitty Donovan slide down the glass door.

After another gunshot, she told the other two women to run. Seconds later, a round burned into her stomach and she collapsed to the ground.

"He did not say a word to any of us," she said. "He just walked in and opened fire on all of us with no remorse."

With the other three women shot and bleeding, Green told the court, Kalisz walked over to her and kicked her foot.

"Who are you? Why are you doing this?" she yelled at him. "I don't even know you."

He pulled the trigger again.

"I acted like I was dead," she continued, "so he would stop shooting us and leave."

Green, who still has a bullet lodged in her neck, said she lives in constant pain and could be paralyzed if she suffered another injury.

Soon after her compelling account of that day, prosecutor Pete Magrino presented jurors with another damning piece of evidence — the interview investigators conducted with Kalisz 13 days after the killings.

The Times first reported details of the questioning early last year, just days before the defendant pleaded guilty to the murder of Dixie County Capt. Chad Reed. The officer was killed attempting to arrest Kalisz in Cross City.

Although in some of the conversation with authorities Kalisz rambled and sounded incoherent, he vaguely referenced why he carried out his "operation," as he called the shootings.

Months before the killings, the 57-year-old roofer had exposed himself and masturbated in front of Manessa Donovan, then 17, in his sister's home. He was also accused of giving her nude photos and threatening her boyfriend with a knife.

After accepting a deal, he was convicted in October 2009 of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He got six years of probation.

The sexual allegations, he told friends back then, ruined him. He hated his sister and her family for it.

Throughout the interview, Kalisz alluded to that hatred.

He called his niece and her mother liars. He said he had intended to erase his sister's bloodline. He called them pigs.

"I kept on until I thought there was nobody else alive," Kalisz said. "And then I got in my car and I left."

Kalisz told investigators he thought he had killed at least five people at his sister's home-based business — and that he wasn't sorry.

"I shot everybody until the bullets ran out," he said. "Until they shut up."

Kalisz is already serving a life sentence for the killing of the deputy. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against him if he's convicted of the murders on his sister's property.

Testimony is expected to continue Monday.

Reach John Woodrow Cox at or (352) 848-1432.

Hernando rampage: Shooting victim offers emotional testimony 01/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 6:22pm]
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