15/06/2024 8:47 PM


The Queen Of Beauty

Jury deliberating in murder trial of deli owner Georgios Kakavelos

BALLSTON SPA – A Saratoga County jury will return to deliberations Thursday morning as it works toward a verdict in the first-degree murder trial of deli owner Georgios Kakavelos.

The panel began to deliberate at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after listening to instructions from County Judge James A. Murphy III. Jurors deliberated for about two hours.

“Good luck to all of you,” the judge told the panel.

Kakavelos, 52, of Ballston Spa, faces the possibility of life in prison without parole if convicted of the top count — first-degree murder — in the deadly bludgeoning of 22-year-old Allyzibeth Lamont, known as “Ally,” inside the defendant’s Local No. 9 sandwich shop in Johnstown on Oct. 28, 2019.

An 11-count indictment also charged Kakavelos with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum of 25 years to life in prison; second-degree conspiracy; three counts of concealment of a human corpse and five counts of tampering with physical evidence.

The trial, now in its sixth week in Saratoga County Court, has included around 68 witnesses and 650 pieces of evidence. The jury Wednesday requested to review video taken of Kakavelos, including his visit to Walmart on Oct. 28, 2019 and readback of his cross-examination and testimony of Duffy.

Prosecutors allege that on the night of the killing, at about 7:30 p.m., Kakavelos and Duffy ambushed Lamont in a kitchen of the business. Duffy, 35, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of 18 years to life, testified that he used an aluminum baseball bat to strike Lamont in the head four times. Duffy said Kakavelos put a bag over Lamont’s head, choked her and finished her off by striking her with a small sledgehammer. 

Duffy said he and Kakavelos  loaded the body in Kakavelos’ black Volkswagen Passat and dropped it in a wooded area off Exit 13 of the Northway in Malta. He said they returned the next night to bury the remains under concrete and fertilizer.

By Oct. 30, 2019, police were interviewing both Kakavelos and Duffy. Duffy, an admitted heavy drinker and drug abuser, led police to where he said he and Kakavelos disposed of Lamont’s remains.

Prosecutor Alan Poremba, first assistant to District Attorney Karen Heggen, told jurors in his closing argument Monday that Kakavelos marked Lamont for death because the Gloversville woman filed a state labor complaint against him about his admitted practices of paying employees under the table. Poremba said the defendant, who kept no financial records of his business, had already received two letters from an investigator from the state Department of Labor.

Poremba said Kakavelos, a Greek immigrant who previously owned the Saratoga Diner in Saratoga Springs and Travers Diner in Gloversville, owed the state more than $70,000 and the Internal Revenue Service more than $120,000. The labor complaint, the prosecutor said, could have led to tax fraud charges for the defendant.

Poremba said Kakavelos blamed Lamont, who was threatening to criticize him as a horrible boss on social media, for his financial woes. He said Kakavelos believed Lamont was a “traitor” and “ringleader” of young female employees revolting against him — and that, all together, it led him to murder.

Kakavelos, who testified last week and briefly Monday, denied any part of the crime. Kakavelos, a married father of four children, emotionally told jurors he walked in on Duffy hovering over Lamont’s naked and blooded body, horrified by what he witnessed. Kakavelos said Duffy forced him to help clean up the murder scene and move Lamont’s body or be murdered along with his family.

Kakavelos said Duffy told him to get cleaning supplies at a Walmart and be back in 15 minutes or he would “kill another.” Poremba, in turn, confronted the defendant with surveillance video that showed him casually and calmly buying a magazine and an Almond Joy candy bar at the Walmart when he said he was in distress.

Defense attorney Kevin O’Brien said Duffy, whom he labeled a “crackhead” multiple times while addressing the jury, was solely behind the murder of Lamont.

The jury returns at 9:15 a.m. Thursday. Friday is an off day so if there is no verdict on Thursday, it would not happen until Monday at earliest.