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Sheila Davalloo
Born May 11, 1969 (1969-05-11) (age 40)
Charge(s) Attempted murder, assault and murder
Penalty 25 years in a maximum security prison
Status Imprisoned
Spouse Farid Moussavi (divorced)
Paul Christos (2000-2004; divorced)

Sheila Davalloo (born May 11, 1969) is an Iranian-American woman who was convicted of attempted murder for stabbing her husband, Paul Christos three times as he was blindfolded and handcuffed during a sex game in their Pleasantville condominium.

Contents

Early life, education and marriage

Sheila Davalloo was born on May 11, 1969 in Iran. In the mid-1970s, Sheila and her family came to the United States as immigrants settling in the town of Yorktown Heights, New York a hamelet located in Westchester County, New York. She excelled in high school and went off to college at SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island located in Stony Brook, New York. She earned a biochemistry degree after college. She married her first husband, a business man and a family friend named Farid Moussavi. She then went to a graduate program for her Master's Degree at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York in the Westchester Medical Center area. In class she met Paul Christos and the two began to date. Paul did not know that Sheila was married when they were in graduate school together. After Moussavi eventually found out she had an affair with Christos, he filed for a divorce. Sheila Davalloo and Paul Christos married in 2000 and moved into a condominium on 21 Foxwood Drive, Pleasantville, New York. Sheila got a job as a research scientist at Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut where she met a fellow worker and soon to be lover Nelson Sessler. When Davalloo and Sessler began to have an affair, she would get her husband to leave their Foxwood Drive condominium by saying her schizophrenic brother Shahiem, who didn't know she lived with anyone, was staying over. Paul had never met Sheila's brother and he would take all his belongings with him and stay at his parent's house or a motel so Sheila could spend time with her sick brother. It was an odd request but Paul was happy to oblige. After he would leave, Sheila would hide all evidence that she had a husband and invited Sessler to stay over. She lied to Sessler, claiming she was divorced. Nelson was unaware of the fact she was married. In September 2002 Sheila tells a psychiatrist she is having trouble giving up "the fantasy of Nelson."

The stabbing

On Sunday March 23, 2003 on a quiet afternoon Sheila Davalloo suggested that she and Paul play a harmless little game that she learned at work, and she handcuffed and blindfolded her husband under the pretext of playing a "game". Sheila stabbed her husband with a 4-inch paring knife from the kitchen in the chest twice claiming it was an accident and lost the key to the handcuffs. She then refused to call 911 despite his pleading. Davalloo then grabbed her cell phone and dialled 911 and told Christos that she couldn't get through because the line was busy. Sheila tried to get a nearby doctor to the house but she said they were closed. Sheila found the handcuff key and took Christos to the Westchester Medical Center only after he begged her. Sheila released Paul from the handcuffs and blindfold and put him in the back seat of her car and drove him to the Westchester County Medical Center. Instead of parking in the emergency room lot, she drove to a secluded remote area of the medical center parking lot and stabbed him a third time, piercing his heart. At 5:30 p.m., an onlooker saw the confrontation between Christos and Davalloo near the medical center's Behavioral Health Center and called 911. Employees of the Medical Center saw Paul struggling for help and immediately called 911. Christos was taken into the Emergency Room where he underwent immediate open heart surgery. Davalloo fled and then came back and tried to get Paul back in her car but the employees wouldn't allow it. She was finally caught by the Mount Pleasant police, who also responded to the 911 call and took her to the Westchester Police Department. She was questioned by police all night and stated that her husband's injuries were not caused by her but were the result of a work-related accident when Paul was working in New York City. When police examined Christos they found him bleeding from multiple stab wounds to the chest. He required extensive surgery because of his injuries, authorities said. Westchester and Pleasantville detectives were continuing to investigate the crime and planned to speak to Christos after he had recovered from his injuries. After looking at Sheila's cell phone records and her recent calls, police found out she didn't actually call 911, but she called somebody else on her phone under the contact name "Nelson" during the stabbing at 4:59 PM. She told them that Nelson's last name was Sessler. The next morning Sheila Davalloo was arrested for attempted murder, first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon and placed into the Westchester County County Jail. On March 26, 2003 Nelson Sessler, Sheila Davalloo's lover was questioned by the Stamford police about the stabbing of her husband and was surprised to find out Sheila was married. When they told him what Sheila called him for, he said that she wanted him to come over her house for a date around 8:30 to 9:00 PM.

The murder of Anna Lisa Raymundo

Sheila Davalloo is also a suspect for the murder of Anna Lisa Raymundo. Davalloo was dating Nelson Sessler at the same time Raymundo dated him, when all three worked at Purdue. Sessler ended his relationship with Davalloo when he became engaged with Raymundo. Two months after the killing, Davalloo resumed her relationship with Sessler. On November 8, 2002 at 12:19 p.m., police received an anonymous phone call from a woman at a pay phone at the nearby Duchess restaurant on Shippan Avenue. The caller said her neighbour was being attacked by a male, according to a search warrant obtained by police. Police went to the condo, found Raymundo's door unlocked, pushed it open and saw her body lying in the foyer. Signs of a violent struggle included glass fragments, debris and blood spatters. According to sources, Raymundo was beaten and had suffered a head injury and was stabbed nearly 20 times. She had hair in her hand. A woman was spotted outside her condominium that afternoon. In May 2003, police said the investigation was focusing on a woman who worked with Raymundo at Purdue and, since then, evidence has mounted against Davalloo. In January 2003 Sheila goes to Nelson Sessler's apartment and tells him she's sorry to hear what happened and later they resume their relationship.

Trial and Conviction

On February 4, 2004 Sheila Davalloo stood trial for the attempted murder of her husband Paul at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, New York, the small courtroom was packed with people. Christos told a judge he had never seen Davalloo act violently before until she stabbed him in the heart 3 times.[1] When Davalloo pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder charge, she was taken to court by a psychiatric nurse from the Westchester Medical Center. In their opening statement, the prosecution portrayed Sheila as a deceitful and manipulative woman. Sheila didn't want to shame her family because in her family divorce was a shameful thing, so to avoid a second divorce and more embarrassment she decided to kill her husband. According to the prosecution Sheila tried to kill her husband so that she could remain with her lover Nelson Sessler. To back up their theory prosecutors played the police interrogation tape on which Sheila lied to police on how Paul got his stab wounds. On February 18 the jury deliberated and they reached their verdict the next day. Before reading the verdict Judge Thomas Dickerson told Sheila that she tried to kill her husband, waited for him to die and had lied over and over, and accused her of being a dangerous threat to society. Davalloo was convicted of attempted murder and first-degree assault.[2] The detectives were in court for the verdict, and Alison Carpentier said Davalloo was a dangerous woman who thought she could get away with what she did. "I found her to be deceptive from the beginning," Carpentier said, "I think she's very calculating." Davalloo's parents did not attend the trial. She maintained a close relationship with her in-laws, often sitting with them in the hallway during breaks in the trial. As court officers handcuffed her, she told Brundage to give her purse to her mother-in-law. Christos' mother began crying after the verdict was announced and declined to comment afterward. Davalloo had been free on $50,000 bail during her trial, but Judge Dickerson ordered Sheila to be held in the Westchester County jail until her sentencing on April 6. "Her goal was to deliver a corpse to the emergency room", said Judge Thomas Dickerson during her sentencing hearing. She faced a minimum five year sentence but at her sentencing hearing on April 6, 2004 Sheila Davalloo was sentenced to the maximum of 25-years in state prison without the possibility for parole which was the toughest sentence allowed by New York State law. Paul Christos had filed for divorce, but he still remained supportive of his wife after the stabbing. He said he wanted Davalloo to get treatment for her alleged mental illness and not go to prison. After that, he suggested she might deserve some prison time, but he remained uncertain what her true intentions were when she plunged the knife into him.

TV shows

In 2006 Davalloo's life was profiled on the Oxygen television series Snapped, which focuses on female criminals and murderers.

Recent events

Nearly five years to the day after Raymundo's murder in Stamford, authorities obtained a warrant on November 6, 2007 to arrest Sheila Davalloo.[3] On December 29, 2008 Stamford police picked up Davalloo at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women where she is serving her 25-year sentence. In Bedford Hills, Davalloo is getting treatment for her bipolar disorder according to court records. Evidence against Davalloo includes a security video at Purdue Pharma which shows that Davalloo left the property shortly before 11 a.m. the day of the murder, DNA from bloodstains found on a bathroom faucet handle matched both Davalloo and Raymundo and the initial call to police, which prompted them to find Raymundo's body and was made from a pay phone a half-mile from the murder scene, is consistent with Davalloo's voice. She was arrainged on a murder charge in the state Superior Court in Stamford. Police have been gathering evidence against Davalloo, but because Davalloo was serving a 25-year sentence in Bedford Hills, they needed to have her extradited to Connecticut. State Department of Correctional Services officials said that Davalloo was sent to Connecticut under an interstate agreement detainer and that she had agreed to go. The judge set $1 million bail during her arraignment on a murder charge in the state Superior Court. On January 14, 2009 Sheila pleaded not guilty to the murder appearing alert and businesslike in a black suit and a hot pink turtleneck in court. Davalllo is due again in Connecticut court on February 20, 2009.[4][5]

References


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