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A Navy veteran from New York was recently sentenced to 18 years to life in prison after killing his sister with a bayonet blade and awl. The sister reportedly consumed a lot of true-crime content, which led the man to believe that she would kill their mother.
Anthony Dibella, 53, told a judge before he was sentenced in September that he had been officially diagnosed with schizoaffective and bipolar disorders in 1994 after serving in Operation Desert Storm. His hope was apparently to "get [some] help from a VA hospital instead of going to prison," according to courtroom minutes, per Fox News.
Dibella reported his sister's murder to 911 on April 28, 2022, claiming that "Wanda Paoli is being killed, she is a witch killed with a knife and awl, and is currently on the porch." First responders showed up to the scene to discover that Paoli was dead, with stab wounds to the face, neck, and head, according to court documents.
When officers eventually arrived at the home Dibella and Paoli shared, he said he had "to do what I did to her because she was getting in the way of me communicating to God."
The authorities arrested Dibella and discovered his elderly mother inside, unharmed. He was charged with second-degree murder, assault with intent to cause serious injury, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, per the report.
Paoli's two sons, Shawn and Josh, wrote that they hope their uncle Dibella "rots in prison with no chance of ever getting out for what he has done," adding that their uncle was "nothing to [them] now," according to an impact statement on September 20.
"He selfishly and violently took her life and has destroyed our family," the statement said. "Every day is difficult, and no one can ever understand the physiological impact this senseless tragedy has had… on the lives of our entire family because our mother is no longer here with us. I cannot even put into words how much she is missed."
Dibella was reportedly not remorseful of the killing. Instead, he kept attempting to justify why he committed the crime. He mentioned that it was because of his sister's "obsess[ion] with reality shows about serial killers," her recent purchase of a battery-powered chainsaw, and a minor bruise he discovered on his mother's hand that he became convinced she intended to kill their mother.
Dibella also admitted that he "stopped all [his psychotropic medications" after "attending a healing church service" back in 2019, which apparently allowed "his paranoia to get the best of [him]."
"I believe without a shadow of a doubt that I saved my mother's life that day," Dibella said.
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