MARTINEZ – Scott Dyleski put a hand over his eyes, leaned over and wept Monday afternoon as he heard a jury’s verdict finding him guilty of first-degree murder and a special circumstance that will send him to prison for the rest of his life.
The jury deliberated about 18 hours before deciding Dyleski, 17, murdered 52-year-old Pamela Vitale on Oct. 15, 2005.
With the conviction on the special-circumstance count of murder in the commission of a burglary, Dyleski will be sentenced to state prison without possibility of parole. He was 16 when he killed Vitale.
The prosecutor said at trial Dyleski killed Vitale in connection with a scheme to purchase marijuana-growing equipment with stolen credit cards.
Prosecutor Harold Jewett argued that Dyleski may have killed Vitale mistakenly believing that she was another neighbor. He was angry at the other neighbor for thwarting his plan to purchase the equipment and for running over his dog a month earlier.
However, jurors did not believe that theory, said 55-year-old Concord resident Peter DeCristofaro, the single juror willing to speak with reporters.
“That didn’t even come up,” he said. “We didn’t buy that.”
He said all but one juror was certain from the first day of deliberations about guilt, but it took three days to decide that it was premeditated murder.
“As far as guilt, we got that nailed down pretty quick,” he said.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 26.