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A former upstate New York deli operator was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Tuesday for the murder of his 22-year-old employee in 2019.
Saratoga County Judge James A. Murphy III handed down the sentence on Tuesday to Georgios Kakavelos, 53, after emotional testimony from the family of Allyzibeth Lamont.
"I and her father will always be forever devastated and enraged by the fact that when our daughter was fighting for her life and took her last breath, you were with her," said Christina Lamont, the victim's mother, according to Albany NBC affiliate WNYT.
Lamont’s family wore T-shirts with her image in court, according to the Gloversville Leader-Herald .
"You're a failure as a businessman, you're a failure as a human being," the victim's mother added.
The victim's father, Sherman Lamont, shared his feelings in a written statement to the court, comparing Kakavelos to the devil, according to the Albany Times Union.
“I hope and pray that you die alone and scared," he wrote. “I hope you rot in hell, Georgie. A piece of my heart is gone because of you.”
Lamont’s sisters also addressed the court.
"We will forever never be the same, we grieve the loss of Ally every single day, for now and forever," her younger sister, Brooke, said according to WNYT.
New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon also wrote a letter to the judge asking him to impose a sentence that would discourage others, the Times Union reported.
Reardon called Lamont’s murder the “most heinous act of retaliation against a worker that the New York State Department of Labor has ever seen.”
At sentencing, the judge called Kakavelos “callous, greedy and self-centered,” according to the Times Union.
In June, a jury convicted Kakavelos of first-degree murder, conspiracy, concealing a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence after a six-week trial, the Leader-Herald reported.
Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Kakavelos hired and paid another employee, James Duffy, at least $1,100 to help him murder Lamont on Oct. 28, 2019. They bludgeoned her to death with a baseball bat and hammer and then dumped her body in a shallow grave, according testimony presented at trial and reported by the Times Union.
As previously reported by Oxygen.com, Duffy previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Kakavelos during his trial. Duffy was sentenced to in 18 years in prison, according to the Leader Herald.
Duffy testified that he killed Lamont, but that his boss helped. He said Kakavelos got rid of the evidence, cleaned up the crime scene and buried the body.
Before her murder, Lamont had accused Kakavelos of illegal business practices, including paying employees off the books and failing to deduct payroll taxes. Prosecutors said Lamont confronted her boss about the practices because he was late paying his workers, the Times Union reported.
Lamont filed a labor complaint against him and had been planning to reveal his practices on social media and to his wife — the official owner of the deli — according to the paper.
Prosecutors said Kakavelos was in debt, including owing more than $122,000 in back taxes to the federal government, and reportedly felt that he could not afford any scrutiny or an investigation into his business. He killed Lamont, they said, to keep her from talking.
The prosecutor said Kakavelos told investigators that Lamont was like a daughter to him, but then he purchased an Almond Joy and a magazine shortly after killing her, the Leader Herald reported.
Kakavelos’s attorney plans to appeal his conviction.
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