The killer's story has changed in the time since Shelly's death, which Pillco made to look like a suicide. At least one article stated then that he killed her so he wouldn’t be deported.
To add to the tragedy, her family had to convince the police that the happily married mother whose career was on the upswing absolutely did not kill herself. But once police thoroughly examined the crime scene, the discovery of Pillco’s shoeprint led the investigation in the right direction.
A construction worker admitted in chilling detail today that he strangled indie-actress Adrienne Shelly in the Greenwich Village apartment where she worked because she caught him trying to rob her.I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how the crime is manslaughter and not murder. Pillco knocked Adrienne Shelly out and then hanged her from a shower rod. The sentence is another weak plea deal from the court system and a real disappointment. The killer should never see the light of day again.
In his courtroom confession, Diego Pillco, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, recounted how he choked the wife and mother with a sheet, strung her body up from a shower rod and fled — hoping to make the murder look like a suicide.
Pillco, 20, will get 25 years in prison — almost certainly followed by deportation — as a result of today's Manhattan Supreme Court guilty plea to first degree manslaughter.
The confession differed radically from what Pillco had long told cops — that he sparred verbally with Shelly after she came downstairs to complain of construction noise. [Adrienne Shelly's Killer Pleads Guilty, Gets 25 Years, By Laura Italliano, New York Post, Feb 14, 2008]