A grand jury on Tuesday indicted a murder defendant for killing his estranged 15-year-old daughter, her mother, her grandmother, and a man who lived in the victims’ home. Prosecutors in Brevard County, Florida, also announced they are weighing the death penalty against the accused killer, Domenico Gigante, 36.
“Even though GIGANTE’s prior convictions could not have produced a prison sentence preventing these horrific crimes, I am aware of the great responsibility placed on my office to use every means possible to protect society from predators and seek justice on behalf of victims,” said Phil Archer, state attorney of the 18th Judicial Circuit. “This includes asking a jury to impose the ultimate punishment of putting a criminal defendant to death to ensure that outcome.”
Gigante filed a written plea of not guilty on Wednesday, records show. Prosecutors had 45 days from then to file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
Authorities claim Gigante broke into the home of his daughter Kiarra Terwilliger where he allegedly shot and killed her and her mother Constance Terwilliger, 35, the teenager’s grandmother Glenda Terwilliger, 63, and also Michael Watson, 36, a man who lived in the residence. Prosecutors said Watson was the father of two children, ages 6 and 9, found by deputies unharmed.
Constance Terwilliger used to be in a relationship with Gigante, authorities said. Deputies said the suspect had been trying to reconnect with his daughter, but she refused to have a relationship with him.
After authorities told Gigante his daughter died, he allegedly agreed to go to the Criminal Investigative Services building with his roommate.
First, however, he wanted to go inside his home with his roommate to get their keys.
“Shortly after, [the roommate] exited the residence and approached the agent,” deputies wrote. [He] stated he needed to be separate from Mr. Gigante, as he had concerns regarding Mr. Gigante.”
He said he asked Gigante, “did you do this?”
Gigante allegedly admitted to shooting his daughter three times.
The roommate said that Gigante had previously expressed frustration about the situation with his daughter and her family.
“I guess I’m going to go over them [sic] and kill them all,” Gigante allegedly said.
Deputies said that surveillance footage from his home showed him entering his pickup truck with what seemed to be a firearm.
Surveillance footage videos from the victims’ neighborhood showed a vehicle nearby matching the description of Gigante’s vehicle, authorities said. Footage from the victims’ next-door neighbor allegedly showed the defendant’s truck with a distinctive cover. The vehicle appeared to enter the driveway of the victim’s home, authorities said. The audio captured gunshots and a female screaming, authorities said.
Charges in the murder case are four counts of first-degree murder, and one count of armed burglary while inflicting great bodily harm or death.
Court records show Gigante faced a number of violence allegations through the years for convictions including animal cruelty and a no-contest plea to aggravated assault. In the animal cruelty case, he “beat the head of one dog on the table, snapped its neck, then threw it across the room into a wall causing death.” He then stabbed another dog in an attempt to kill the canine, authorities said.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]