Judge continues case of former UConn student charged with murder, kidnapping, home invasion and robbery

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The 25-year-old UConn student charged with killing two people — one of whom he allegedly attacked with a samurai sword — kidnapping another, and leading police on a dayslong, multistate manhunt appeared before a judge for a virtual court hearing on Thursday.

Peter Manfredonia joined the hearing by a video call from Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, where he is being held in lieu of a $12 million bond on charges of killing two men, kidnapping a young woman and brutally assaulting an elderly man, records show.

His case was continued to July, according to court officials.

Manfredonia is charged with murder, kidnapping with a firearm, home invasion and robbery with a deadly weapon in connection to the killing of 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele and the kidnapping of Eisele’s girlfriend. Eisele was shot to death in his home in Derby on May 24, 2020, according to a warrant for Manfredonia’s arrest.

Manfredonia allegedly burst into Eisele’s home about 5:45 that morning. Eisele had locked the doors, according to police, when he heard police were looking for Manfredonia. The two knew each other from Newtown High School and through sales of marijuana, according to a warrant.

When Manfredonia stormed in, Eisele urged him to calm down just before Manfredonia allegedly shot him, records show.

Manfredonia then allegedly told Eisele’s girlfriend that he shot her boyfriend in the head, stole several thousand dollars and — still armed with a gun — demanded their car keys. He forced her to drive their Volkswagen all the way to New Jersey while he sat in the backseat still armed with a gun, stopping once to change his clothes, the warrant said.

He eventually convinced someone at a New Jersey truck stop to order him an Uber and left Eisele’s girlfriend there, according to the warrant.

Law enforcement, including Connecticut State Police, tracked the UConn student through Uber rides, car thefts and surveillance video from New Jersey into Pennsylvania and eventually to another truck stop in Hagerstown, Maryland, records show.

Two days earlier, Manfredonia had allegedly killed 62-year-old Ted DeMers in Willington.

DeMers, an artisan furniture maker, husband and father, according to his obituary, lived on the same street as a woman who had recently ended a relationship with Manfredonia, police said.

Manfredonia allegedly attacked DeMers and another 80-year-old man on Mirtl Road with a samurai sword, records show.

While Eisele’s girlfriend was being kidnapped, Manfredoina allegedly told her that DeMers was an innocent person who was, essentially, in his way. He allegedly told her he killed DeMers and Eiesel because they “said something that triggered him and he snapped,” according to warrants.

Manfredonia is also charged with murder, attempt to commit murder and assault of an elderly person in connection to DeMers’ slaying.

He faces a slew of charges from his alleged attack in Willington that include home invasion, kidnapping, robbery and assault, court records show.

Manfredonia is scheduled to appear in court next on charges connected to DeMers’ death and the Willington attack on Friday. A hearing in his case is scheduled to take place in Rockville at 10 a.m., according to court records.