'Miss Irresistible' Denies Killing Friends

"You still don't know how she could be in the same room with Rachael, how she could see her smile, and still beat [her] in the back of her head," said Tiffany Koloroutis, Rachael's older sister. "I don't know how anyone could know her and do that."

George Koloroutis, Rachael's father, pointed out how young Paolilla was at the time.

"Hard to believe a 17-year-old girl would wreak such havoc and carnage," he said. "Very, very cruel, just a cruel murder. Savage."

The defense countered by calling Rott's trustworthiness into question. DeGuerin noted that Rott was a convicted felon and admitted drug addict. The lawyer said the husband ratted out his own wife to save his skin.

"He was facing a life charge for heroin," said DeGuerin. "So he sold his testimony."

Paolilla's family said Rott made a practice of seducing women in rehab and leeching off them as long as they had money. When her trust fund matured, Paolilla had plenty.

To drive home the point, DeGuerin called a string of women to the stand to relate similar stories of deceit and treachery. One said Rott had claimed he had the same kind of cancer as her father. Another said he would take her debit card and make unauthorized withdrawals.

"One thing that was established beyond any doubt whatsoever is that he was a lying scumbag," Judge Mark Kent Ellis told ABC News. "He picked up women in rehab and used them, abused them, took money from them."

Ann Koloroutis was disappointed that Paolilla, on the advice of her lawyers, declined to testify.

"I wanted to look her in the eye and have her say, 'I'm sorry,'" she said.

After nine days of testimony, lawyers began their closing arguments. Ultimately, the jury was left to decide: Was Paolilla a victim of circumstance, or a willing participant in the murders?

The defendant faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

"When you look at the charge you are told to look at it in one big picture. Did she pull the trigger or did she assist the person who pulled the trigger?" said Goodhart. "If you believe it either way, she is still guilty of capital murder."

DeGuerin countered: "Despite the goriness of this case, if you have a reasonable doubt, it is your oath and your duty to say not proved, not guilty."

After less than three hours, the jury returned a verdict.

Tiffany Koloroutis, Rachael's older sister, recalled the moment.

"I mean, your heart just starts racing," she said. "Mom grabbed my hand, and we were all sitting there. We thought, 'This is it.'"

'I Felt Like Justice Was Served'

As Ellis read the verdict, Paolilla broke down in tears.

"The state of Texas v. Christine Marie Paolilla," he read. "We the jury find the defendant Christine Marie Paolilla guilty of capital murder as charged in the indictment."

After the trial, Paolilla's parents struck a resigned tone.

"I couldn't move. I couldn't move," said Lori Paolilla. "It is nothing I would wish on anybody."

The Koloroutis family was pleased.

"I felt like justice was served," said George Koloroutis.

"It felt good," Ann Koloroutis said. "I didn't expect it -- that it would feel that good, but it actually did. It felt really good."

Soon after the verdict, George Koloroutis read a victim impact statement to the court.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...