Long Beach woman accused in brutal murder, arson faces additional charges

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The woman accused of brutally murdering her longtime lover and setting his Centre Island home on fire is facing more charges after an indictment against her was unsealed.

Investigators say Jennifer Gross, 54, of Long Beach, beat 75-year-old James Coppola to death inside the victim's home in November 2018. She then allegedly set his house on fire, stole jewelry from him and fled the scene in a taxi.

MORE: Woman charged with murder, arson in 75-year-old man's death in Centre Island 

Officials say the pair had been involved in an “on again, off again” relationship for approximately 20 years and that the relationship was often violent.

On the day of the alleged murder, prosecutors say the suspect went to the victim's house demanding money. When he refused, they say she lashed out violently.

The victim's family was in the courthouse during Thursday’s proceedings. Coppola’s son, John, thanked the Nassau district attorney and detectives for “their continued effort to bring our family justice.”

Gross was originally charged with murder and arson. The indictment includes additional charges of manslaughter, burglary and robbery. She will be back in court on Dec. 18.

 

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