Battered-women specialist takes stand in Catherine Pileggi trial

Dr. Lenore Walker says Pileggi suffered from multiple disorders

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Catherine Pileggi doesn't deny killing her multimillionaire boyfriend of 20 years, Ron Vinci, back in 2011.

But Wednesday, she told jurors she suffered through two decades of verbal, physical and sexual abuse before she killed the 70-year-old.


According to police, Pileggi shot Vinci in the head, stabbed him in the chest several times, slashed his throat with a knife and then wrapped the body in bedding and plastic bags with duct tape.

This all happened it Vinci's waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale.

She later confessed, telling detectives her plan was to dump his body in the ocean before she was caught.

On Thursday, the woman considered the authority when it comes to battered women syndrome, Dr. Lenore Walker, took the stand and told the jury that Pileggi exhibited many factors used to diagnose women suffering from the syndrome.

"I observed that she was a battered woman and that she had battered-woman syndrome in my opinion," said Walker. "(I observed) that the battered syndrome she had was a subcategory of post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma and that she also had dissociative disorder."

Pileggi faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

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