Woman Charged With Killing Boyfriend, Stashing Corpse in Trash Bin

Erika Guttilla's mother and her current boyfriend are also facing charges in connection with her former boyfriend's murder

The attorney for a Vermont woman charged with killing her former live-in boyfriend and keeping his corpse in a trash bin for months asked a Vermont Superior Court judge for another day to review the case.

Thirty-one-year-old Erika Guttilla was being held without bail Tuesday.

She and 28-year-old Corey Cassani, both of Highgate, Vermont, were arrested without incident during a traffic stop around 1:30 a.m. on Route 7 in South Burlington in connection with the shooting death of 35-year-old Troy Ford, of Brooklyn, New York.

Police say Erika shot Ford in the head last fall at her family's home in Highgate, where Ford was living with her at the time.

Investigators allege Erika then, along with her mother, 60-year-old Carmen Guttilla, rolled Ford's body in a rug and left it in a garbage can on the porch for weeks, possibly a few months.

The mother and daughter duo allegedly moved the body this winter, a quarter mile down the road to the woods — where two dog-walkers found Ford's remains on May 6.

Detectives said no one had reported Ford missing — since he had a strained relationship with his family in New York and hadn’t talked to his sister since going to prison in Vermont.

Relatives told police Ford had been staying with them while supplying some of the household members with drugs, including heroin and crack.

But the Guttillas claimed Ford over time essentially took the family hostage: sexually abusing Erika and becoming physically violent with several others.

Police said Carmen told them she was at a breaking point and couldn’t take it anymore or watch her loved ones suffer.

Monday, Carmen pleaded not guilty to aiding in the commission of a felony.

Cassani, Erika's current boyfriend, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to being an accessory after the fact and unauthorized burial or removal of a dead body. He's being held on $50,000 bail.

Some of Ford’s loved ones at court in St. Albans on Tuesday told necn they do not believe the stories being told about him by the Guttilla family. They said those are lies to try to get out of a violent crime. They called him a nice guy who’d give you the shirt off his back. They plan to be back at court Wednesday to hear Erika's plea.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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