The father of Daniel Pelosi, the New York electrician convicted of murder this week in one of the most sensational trials in recent memory, says he still is ambivalent about the verdict -- despite testifying for the prosecution during the trial.
Asked whether he believed his son is innocent, Robert Pelosi told ABC News' "Primetime": "I don't want to answer that."
He continued: "I don't know how to answer it. I don't think he could do something like that. But I don't really know ... I am his father."
Daniel Pelosi, 41, was convicted Monday of second-degree murder in the 2001 bludgeoning death of millionaire investment banker Theodore Ammon, 52. Prosecutors said he was angry over a proposed divorce settlement presented to Ammon's estranged wife, Generosa. Pelosi had been romantically involved with Generosa, and later married her.
"Primetime" correspondent Cynthia McFadden conducted exclusive interviews with some of the key players in the trial, including Pelosi's father, a jailhouse informant who also testified against Pelosi and his defense attorney.
Watch "Primetime" on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m. ET
The elder Pelosi testified in October that his son had called him the day after Ammon's slaying and asked, "If someone wanted to get rid of something, what could they do with it?"
Prosecutors believe Daniel Pelosi was referring to a surveillance computer in Ammon's Long Island house that may have recorded the financier's last moments. It was ripped out of its hiding place in the house and has never been found.
Robert Pelosi said he didn't know what his son was talking about, but he told him: "In today's world it's very, very difficult, especially with DNA and the likes of that. If you wanted to take something and put it in the ocean the fisherman might come along and hook onto it, a dredge may pick it up. If you wanted to bury it, they may decide to build a house there or a road."
Robert Pelosi said he did not ask why his son was asking such a question. "I didn't want to know, to be honest with you," he said. "With everything that was happening I was afraid to ask a question like that."
Hatred and Motivations
After the elder Pelosi left the witness stand, his son said to him, "I hate you."
Robert Pelosi is nonchalant about the episode. "I can't do nothing about that," he told McFadden. "He hates me, because I told the truth. And I guess he expected me to lie."
The father also said, "I didn't volunteer to go in there. If I didn't go in, I was gonna be subpoenaed. I went in there to tell the truth."
The elder Pelosi was among a number of witnesses whose conversations with Daniel Pelosi were used by the prosecution to build their case.
But Daniel Pelosi's defense attorney, Gerry Shargel, said they all had "some ax to grind or some motive or hidden agenda."
Robert Pelosi readily admits he disliked Generosa Ammon.
"I thought she was pompous and rude. And I didn't like her at all," he told McFadden. "She had an attitude of superiority and you don't get anywhere with me that way."
Generosa Ammon died of breast cancer in August 2003.
A Bad Decision
However, jurors say a major factor in their decision to convict was Daniel Pelosi's own testimony in early December.
Shargel told McFadden he did not want his client to testify, but "that's his constitutional right." He added, "I'll be the first to say I wish he hadn't."
He has no doubt that Pelosi's testimony led to his conviction. Jurors have said they felt Pelosi came off as a lothario and a con man, and that there were gaps in his story.
"Danny Pelosi swears that he did not commit this murder," Shargel said. "That he was not involved in this murder and if he's right, this is some tragedy."
'My Little Guy'
Pelosi himself realized that he didn't do himself any favors. Immediately after he testified, he called his lawyers and said, "I was so tongue-twisted and I was so freakin' scared up there and nervous," according to a conversation documented by "Primetime" producers.
He told his lawyers, "I told you guys if I get up there and tell the truth, how the hell can they convict me?"
Shargel replied, "You were very, very good. One of the very strong points of your testimony is when you explained the rift with your dad and how he treated your mother."
At the time, Pelosi seemed to have forgiven his father for his testimony. "He's a confused old man. I got nothing against him ... because he's still my father," Pelosi said.
He may have been in a generous mood because he thought he would be free. "I know everybody questioned me when I said let me do it," he told his lawyers in the conversation. "Let me tell the truth, bro ... I'll be home for Christmas."
Today, as Pelosi faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, his father is the one who is forgiving.
"I always see him as my little pal," Robert Pelosi said. "If he did this thing, it's disgraceful and it's hateful ... but that's the Danny of today. I got a whole lot of love for him up until then. And I can't just forget about that. To me, he is still my little guy."