Medina Comic Book Theft Could Lead to Homicide Charges

6:05 AM, Nov 5, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Medina Police Investigate Death

  • Homer Marciniak's home in Medina
  • Rico Vendetti

By Gary Craig
Democrat and Chronicle

MEDINA, N.Y. - Six people accused of the home invasion robbery of a 77-year-old Medina man who died of a heart attack hours after the break-in could face murder charges if authorities can link the crime to his death.

Authorities plan to analyze the blood found at the home of Homer Marciniak, whose valuable comic book collection was stolen during the July 5 robbery.

A serology expert, examining enzymes in the blood that police say Marciniak shed after being hit in the face by robbers that day, may be able to determine whether the cardiac problem started during the crime, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bruce.

Federal authorities this week arrested 41-year-old Rico Vendetti of Irondequoit, alleging that he had enlisted individuals to break into Marciniak's home for the robbery. Vendetti previously contracted with thieves to steal goods from stores and homes, then sold the loot on eBay, an affidavit from an FBI agent alleges.

He may have sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen goods, the FBI says.

Vendetti was not at Marciniak's home, but he and five people who allegedly did rob Marciniak have been charged with burglary. Court papers identify the others as Arlene Coombs, Timothy Williams, Albert Parsons, Terry Stewart and Juan Javier. Police arrested two of them in Florida, authorities say.
The comic book collection, which Marciniak started when he was a child, may have been worth between $40,000 and $100,000, police say.

Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone said state murder charges could be brought against any of the six if the heart attack can be linked to the crime. Marciniak went to the hospital after the break-in, was treated and released, then died later.

If authorities tie the death to the crime, federal prosecutors say they may charge the accused with racketeering murder - a federal crime that can lead to capital punishment.

Vendetti has been charged with federal racketeering and interstate transport of stolen goods.

Joseph Damelio, Vendetti's lawyer in the burglary case, said Vendetti maintains his innocence.

The six suspects are identified as Arlene Combs, Donald Griffin, Juan Javier, Albert Parsons, Terry Stewart and Rico Vendetti, all of Rochester. They are charged with burglary and could face more charges.

A source close to the investigation tells 2 On Your Side that a prostitute with knowledge of the comic book heist informed police about the suspects.



Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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