CHICAGO (STMW)– Carmine Calderazzo had made a quick pit stop at a Southwest Side Walgreens to buy some chewing gum for her elderly father before a trip to Midway Airport where the octogenarian was to meet his fiancée.
But Jacint Calderazzo of Valparaiso, Ind., never saw or walked down the aisle with the woman he had let go 60 years before.
When Carmine Calderazzo went back outside that afternoon on Sept. 7, 2008, she saw her “Papa’s” Charlie Brown shoes peeking out of a crowd gathered in the pharmacy’s parking lot.
“Two people came into the store yelling ‘Man down, man down.’ I just had a feeling it was my dad.”
Prosecutors said Calderazzo, 88, had apparently been moving a box of magazines from the back seat of the car to make room for his fiancee when Kenneth Starr pushed him, jumped into the Buick, backed the car and slammed Calderazzo into a mini-van, Asst. Cook County State’s Attorney Jennifer Ravin said.
On Friday, Starr, 35, was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular carjacking following a bench trial, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
Calderazzo was on his way to Midway to pick up his former fiancee. The two had reunited two years prior when she called to let him know about the death of a mutual friend in their native Pennsylvania. It was to be their second chance at love. He had proposed the prior Thanksgiving and 79-year-old Lillian Beattie had accepted.
Starr was arrested two days later after a traffic stop. He had several of Calderazzo’s credit cards in his possession, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Starr also allegedly told someone he had “ran a guy over, hitting him really bad,” the state’s attorney’s office said. But in a conflicting statement to police, Starr said Calderazzo wasn’t behind the vehicle when he backed up, according to court records.
Starr, who has prior convictions for battery, narcotics and home invasion, was being held without bond in Cook County Jail after his lawyer waived a bond hearing.
Carmine Calderazzo testified Tuesday at Starr’s bench trial. “I ran over to him and he lay there in a lot of blood,” she said, her voice wavering. “He was pretty unconscious but he kept screaming, ‘daughter,’ ‘daughter.’”
Starr faces 20 to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge James Obbish on May 13.
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