He Wanted His Home, She Wanted It More

On Thursday, March 25, Donatila O’Mahony, a 43-year-old woman from Long Island, New York was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the March 8, 2020 murder of 69-year-old Lee Pedersen of Aquebogue, New York. The Suffolk County District Attorney, Raymond A. Tierney, reported that the homicide was fueled by O’Mahony’s greed and her desire to steal Pedersen’s home.

The investigation identified a single gunshot wound to the back of Pedersen’s head and his missing phone, car keys, and cash when police officers searched the home. Additionally, detectives gathered evidence from surveillance footage and cell phone and cell site records as well as interviews conducted with Pedersen’s friends, including O’Mahony.

In 2019, it was revealed that O’Mahony asked a colleague to buy her a 9mm handgun and the night of the murder, she borrowed the same friend’s car. The car was spotted by surveillance cameras close to Pedersen’s home on the night of the homicide and in the hours following the incident, it was seen at her house. Once she came back home, a witness testified that O’Mahony asked her friend to get rid of certain items including a variety of clothing, ammunition, and the gun which the friend had bought her the year before.

Forensic analysis of the swabs taken from the crime scene discovered a mixture of O’Mahony’s and Pedersen’s DNA. During the examination, investigators came upon a forged will indicating that Pederson was willing to give O’Mahony his house. However, police officers seized the real will which did not mention any transfers of property in O’Mahony’s name.

After convicting O’Mahony of second-degree murder, second-degree possession of a forged instrument and second-degree attempted grand larceny, Supreme Court Justice Timothy P. Mazzei passed the sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the homicide. Seven years for each additional charge that she was found guilty of.

The District Attorney harshly denounced O’Mahony’s unethical behavior and wanted to remind society of the weight of the consequences from conducting such a malicious crime. He stated, “This was a cold-blooded killing fueled by greed, treachery, and the complete disregard for Lee Pedersen’s life, all in order to steal the victim’s home. The only new home this defendant will be living in as a result of her actions, is prison.”

Donatila O’Mahony’s 25-year sentence to life in prison emphasizes the gravity of such an offense and the repercussions of committing a cruel crime such as homicide.