FREEHOLD, N.J. - A man who said God told him to kill and dismember his grandmother and ex-girlfriend was convicted yesterday of murder.
Rosario "Russell" Miraglia had testified that he was carrying out an order from God by killing his grandmother, Julia Miraglia, 88, and Leigh Martinez, 31, the mother of his young son, in June 2004.
The women were decapitated and their hands and feet severed.
A Superior Court jury in Monmouth County convicted Miraglia of murder and weapons offenses, but acquitted him of attempted arson.
In testimony earlier this year, Miraglia, 36, denied he was insane. He was driving from Newark to Asbury Park, listening to religious tapes, when "a revelation came to me," he said.
"The communication told me to go to the house and kill the two people," Miraglia testified. "I'm like, 'Dude, I'm not going to kill these people. That's a negative. No shot.' "