• N.J. delivery driver 'thrill killer' gets life in prison

    Tags: Crime

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- Thomas J. Koskovich, 24, who was convicted in 1999 for his role in the 1997 ambush, robbery and murder of two pizza delivery drivers, received a sentence of 30 years to life on Dec. 4 following a November retrial for the crime.

According to multiple news reports, a jury sentenced Kosovich to death in 1999 for murder, but the decision was later overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2001. In a 4-3 decision, the justices ruled that technical errors were made in the delivery of instructions to the jury in the first trial.

In this latest trial, Koskovich received a life sentence after jurors could not agree on a death sentence after days of deliberation.

The 1997 double murder drew wide media attention when prosecutors alleged Koskovich, then 18, and accomplice Jayson Vreeland, then 17, committed the crime just for the thrill of killing someone.

In the first trial, the teens said they called multiple pizza outlets attempting to get delivery to an abandoned home in rural northwestern New Jersey.

Late that evening, when delivery drivers Giorgio Gallara, 24, and Jeremy Giordano, 22, arrived to drop off the order, Kosovich and Vreeland entered the drivers' vehicle and shot them multiple times with stolen handguns.

This latest sentence comes in addition to the 45 years Koskovich received for convictions of armed robbery and weapons theft in connection to the double murder.

In a separate trial in 1999, Vreeland was sentenced to life in prison because he was only 17 at the time of the murders. New Jersey law prohibits the execution of minors.

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