Victim: Connie Sue DePalma
Murderers: Anthony DePalma, 17, & Mark Abbatoy, 17
Motion in juvenile life without parole case withdrawn by prosecutors
Mark Anthony Abbatoy
On May 7, 1997, Mark Anthony Abbatoy, (dob
10/25/1979), age 17, of Bridgman, planned with co-defendant
Anthony DePalma to steal DePalma’s mother’s car and travel
to California. In order to give themselves time to steal the car
and allow time to get out of Michigan, their plan was to hit
Connie DePalma with a shovel. Abbatoy hit her and killed her
with the cooperation and planning of her son, Anthony
Anthony Robert DePalma
Anthony DePalma, (5/11/1979) also 17 and also of
Bridgman, had been incorrigible for some time. Connie
DePalma had recently given her son an ultimatum as he neared
his 18th birthday: stay in school or move out after he turned 18.
At that juncture, Connie DePalma prohibited her son from using
her car. Abbatoy, with Anthony DePalma’s cooperation and
planning, hit Connie DePalma multiple times with the shovel,
killing her. She was first attacked in her garage. After she
retreated into her home from the garage, Abbatoy followed her,
attacking her again. While Abbatoy and DePalma agree that Abbatoy struck Connie DePalma
both in the garage and inside the house, their stories differ with regard to DePalma’s involvement inside the house. DePalma denies striking his mother at all, while Abbatoy maintains that DePalma delivered some blows once Abbatoy finished and left the room.
The autopsy revealed that Connie DePalma had suffered at least 10 blows to the head, 3
of which would have been fatal. Nine pieces of skull were removed from deep lacerations within her brain. Additionally, she suffered numerous injuries to her upper extremities and abdomen. DePalma and Abbatoy were both convicted by jury of 1st degree felony- murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Abbatoy and DePalma had been adjudicated as juveniles in 1995 for stealing a car.
Connie Sue DePalma was 48 years old when she was murdered. Prior to her death,
Connie lived on Beechnut in Bridgman. She was divorced from the father of her four children.
Her youngest son, Anthony, was still living with her at the time of her death as he was a junior in high school. Connie also had three other children, a daughter, Robin, and twin sons, Mike and Jonathan, who were adults at the time Connie was killed. Connie worked for the Department of Social Services while raising her 4 children. She was described as an excellent worker, but a very private person. At the time of her death, she owned a 1994 Ford Thunderbird, which was stolen by her killers, Anthony DePalma and Mark Abbatoy.