WILKES-BARRE – In the seven months after they first met, Jennifer Milazzo and Lillian Calabro became close friends, even living together for two months in late 2010.
On Thursday, Milazzo took the stand to testify in the homicide trial of her father, Arthur Stoss, charged in Calabro's March 2011 death.
Prosecutors say Stoss killed Calabro at the Riverfront Park in Pittston and threw her body into the Susquehanna River. Calabro's body was found 10 days later on March 21 along the river bank near Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
Milazzo told investigators her father showed up at her home with wet pants on the evening of March 11, 2011, claiming he killed a man in a drug deal gone bad.
Milazzo said she didn't believe her father because he had been lying to her frequently, she said.
"I was so mad at him for lying to me," Milazzo testified Thursday in the third day of Stoss' trial. "He would lie about the littlest things. … I was sick and tired of it."
Milazzo said her father always told "outrageous" stories, so she didn't believe him when she talked to him that evening and he told her he killed a black man. Milazzo said she believed he probably got into a fight and twisted his story around.
She gave her father dry clothes, washed and dried his jeans and washed a brown jacket he wore that night.
The next day, Milazzo said, she learned a trail of blood was found at the Riverfront Park in Pittston where her father said he killed the black man, and that Calabro's belongings where found there.
"I called my father … I asked him … ‘Daddy, what did you do to Lillian?' " Milazzo testified, becoming emotional.
Milazzo said she went to Stephanie's Bar, and Pittston police arrived and asked her to go to their station to speak with them. "I was crying and telling them I was sorry," Milazzo said.
Prosecutors showed jurors the videotaped testimony of forensic pathologist Gary Ross, who did the autopsy on Calabro's body.
Before her body was put into the river, Ross said, Calabro had been beaten. He said her body showed signs of strangulation, and her skull was beaten in so severely he described it as being like a "bean bag."
Calabro suffered several pre- and postmortem injuries, Ross said, describing her scalp as holding in the multiple pieces her skull was broken into.
Ross testified Calabro's head injury was so severe, she would have lived only for a few minutes whether she was thrown into the river or not.
Her body also showed several defensive injuries Ross said were likely received when she tried to shield herself from the blows she received.
Testimony is expected to resume this morning. Judge William Amesbury said it is likely the jury could begin deliberations sometime today.