SPRING HILL — Neighbors marveled at the Christmas decorations in Karen and Alan Biraghi's yard. Dozens of ornaments, lights, signs and blow-up figurines reflected her infatuation with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other Disney characters.
But, authorities said, the holiday magic at 3219 Greynolds Ave. in Spring Hill ended abruptly shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday when Karen Biraghi pulled out a revolver and pointed it at the back of her sleeping husband's head at point-blank range.
Moments later, Alan Biraghi, 31, lay dead on the living room couch. His wife then drove to her parents' home a few blocks away and returned with them before reporting the shooting.
Biraghi, 39, is being held without bail at the Hernando County jail, charged with first-degree murder. Authorities said she admitted in an interview that she intended to kill her husband and was upset that he was in the process of moving out of their home.
The shooting shook the quiet neighborhood from its peaceful yule spirit on Christmas Eve. Neighbors gathered on the lawns and silently watched as Biraghi was placed into the back of a deputy's cruiser.
Patricia Taber, who lives across the street from the home, said she approached the cruiser to ask what happened. She said Biraghi answered, "I killed him."
Taber, who moved into the neighborhood in early November, said that although they weren't close friends, she and Biraghi spoke nearly every day. She described Biraghi as friendly but often emotionally distraught at the possibility that her 11-year marriage was coming to an end.
"She would come over and we would talk for a while and then she would suddenly break out in tears," Taber said. "She was always worried that Alan was going to leave her."
Alan Biraghi worked as a repairman for a Pasco County air-conditioning firm.
Ronnie Lester, a neighbor, said Alan Biraghi was an affable man, but he hadn't seen him much over the past few months.
"I usually saw him either coming home or leaving for work," Lester said. "But he'd always smile and wave at me."
The same couldn't be said of Karen Biraghi, Taber said.
"She was a bit of a recluse," Taber said. "She had seven dogs, and I guess they kept her company most of the time. She didn't seem very interested in socializing with anyone in the neighborhood."
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.