Defendant in Manchester hammer killing takes the stand

The Manchester man accused of killing his 76-year-old neighbor with a hammer took the stand Wednesday morning.

Alan Bienkowski took the stand in his murder trial Wednesday. He is accused of killing his neighbor 76-year-old Anthony Verdicchio in Manchester.

Alan Bienkowski took the stand in his murder trial Wednesday. He is accused of killing his neighbor 76-year-old Anthony Verdicchio in Manchester. (2/17/16)

TOMS RIVER - The Manchester man accused of killing his 76-year-old neighbor with a hammer took the stand Wednesday morning.

Alan Bienkowski told jurors that he was at the crime scene and saw Anthony Verdicchio’s body, but that he did not kill him.

“I see Tony laying there. I didn't know what to do,” he said. “I'm high on dope at the time.  I don't know what to do. I'm thinking, should I call 911?"

Both men lived in the Pines Acres Manor trailer community. Bienkowski said that he saw the front door open to Verdicchio’s home and found him dead inside.

"He was cold to the touch. His eyes were open. His mouth was open,” Bienkowski testified.

Prosecutors allege that Bienkowski struck his neighbor at least 14 times with a hammer so that he could steal coins, baseball cards and other collectibles for drug money.

A partial print from Bienkowski's sneakers was found near the body. Those sneakers were later found at Bienkowski's home with the victim's blood on them. Bienkowski testified that he should have called police but panicked and also made the bad decision to steal from the victim.

“I'm thinking to myself if I call the police, I'm high on drugs, I have priors. I probably look like hell from doing a couple bags that morning,” he said.

The hammer believed to have been used in the murder was never found.

Closing arguments were given by both sides following the defendant's testimony. The jury will be charged Thursday.

If convicted, Bienkowski faces a minimum of 30 years in prison. 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized 1 Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized chaos'
From a businessman in Atlantic City to president 2 From businessman to president, a look at Donald Trump's journey
Workers help build a deck for Boonton resident 3 Nonprofit group builds deck for disabled veteran
Connor Mills is today's Scholar Athlete. 4 Scholar Athlete - Connor Mills
Jersey Weekend Buzz 5 Jersey Weekend Buzz

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Anthony Verdicchio (pictured), 76, was allegedly struck 14 Trial begins for man accused of killing neighbor with hammer

The trial of a Manchester man accused of killing his 76-year-old neighbor with a hammer

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE