Defendant accused in Pastore murder risks more jail time to clear her name

NORWICH – Tammi Van Deusen had served nearly six and half years of her eight-year sentence when she won an appeal. She will return to court this spring, risking 15 to life if convicted despite a plea bargain offered last Friday.

“We will not take a felony for something she didn’t do,” said Robert Van Deusen, Tammi’s father.

“People keep calling it a retrial. There never was a trial. A trial is what we wanted six years ago,” he said.

Tammi Van Deusen, 31, was arrested on Aug. 4, 2000 following a police investigation into a drug-related murder. She was one of five defendants convicted in connection to the July 17, 2000 murder of Edward Pastore Jr. Pastore was targeted because he was a believed to be a successful drug dealer in the area. Van Deusen pleaded guilty to 1st degree robbery at the time. “She pleaded guilty at her first court arraignment twenty one minutes after meeting her lawyer for the first time. It is highly unusual for a murder plea at an arraignment. It’s almost unheard of,” said her current attorney Randel Scharf.

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