A New Jersey man who allegedly helped a murder suspect dispose of her gun following a March 2020 murder in Aquebogue is facing felony charges for his role in the crime, according to court records.
George Woodworth, 75, told investigators in December 2020 that he knowingly brought the gun used in the murder of part-time Aquebogue resident Lee Pedersen to his home in Neptune City, NJ, where he disassembled the weapon and dumped its parts in nearby dumpsters. , according to an affidavit in the warrant issued for his arrest. The warrant executed in 2020 was released following a request for recording and shared in a public database online in Mr Woodworth’s home state. He was originally arrested on January 8, 2021, according to Suffolk County Court records, although information about his arrest was not shared publicly by police or prosecutors at the time.
Mr. Woodworth pleaded not guilty before District Court Judge Richard Dunne on Tuesday, May 24, to a superior court notice charging him with second-degree criminal facilitation, according to online court records. An SCI is issued by a district attorney with the consent of a defendant who waives the right to present their criminal complaint to a grand jury for indictment.
Prosecutors say Mr Pedersen was murdered by Central Islip’s Donatila O’Mahony, an acquaintance they say also forged his will in an attempt to become the primary beneficiary of his estate. Mr Pedersen was single and had no children, friends, distant family members and police said.
Detectives arrested Donatila O’Mahony, now 42, for grand theft and forgery at John F. Kennedy Airport on December 28, 2020, where they found her with her 6-year-old daughter and a pair one-way tickets to El Salvador, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Frank Schroeder said last year. He said her house in Central Islip had been “packed up” and that she had also recently changed the license plates on her car to Texas plates.
She was charged with murder in March 2021, a year after Mr Pedersen was murdered at his home in Aquebogue, where he was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Ms O’Mahony, who is also identified as Donatila Alvarez in court records, has been held in a Suffolk County jail without bail since her arrest after being deemed a ‘significant flight risk’, when arraigned by Judge Anthony Senft.
Mr Schroeder said at the March 2021 arraignment that investigators noticed that after Mr Pedersen died, Ms O’Mahony “became obsessed” with finding his will, which he said that the police had in their possession. Mr Schroeder said Ms O’Mahony, unaware that police already had a copy of a will bequeathing Mr Pedersen’s assets to another “close friend”, later produced her own version.
“That will was a forgery,” Mr Schroeder said of the document produced by Ms O’Mahony. “In this false will, the defendant made herself the executor and bequeathed the Aquebogue house to herself, disinheriting Mr. Pedersen’s close friend.”
Ms O’Mahony, who faces life in prison, is due back in court for a pre-trial in her case on June 23.
Mr Woodworth is next due to appear for his charge, a Class C felony, on July 12. The warrant for his arrest was issued on December 31, 2020, two days after he allegedly told police he had got rid of the weapon and three days after Ms O’Mahony’s initial arrest .