MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced today that a Long Beach woman was indicted for the murder of a Centre Island man on November 20, 2018.
Jennifer Gross, 54, was arraigned today before Judge Meryl Berkowitz on two counts of Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony), Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B violent felony), Burglary in the First Degree (a B violent felony), Robbery in the First Degree (a B violent felony), Arson in the Third Degree (a C felony) and Aggravated Criminal Contempt (a D felony).
The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on December 18. If convicted, she faces a potential maximum of 47 years to life in prison.
“This defendant is accused of violently killing her romantic partner and then setting his house on fire to conceal this heinous crime,” DA Singas said. “Our condolences remain with the Coppola family and friends as they continue to mourn his death.”
DA Singas said that on November 20, 2018, between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm, the defendant allegedly went to 75-year-old James Coppola’s Centre Island home to ask him for money. When Coppola refused to give her money, Gross allegedly attacked and beat him with a cooking appliance about his body and head – ultimately killing him. The defendant then allegedly set the house on fire to cover up the murder.
Before allegedly setting the house on fire, Gross allegedly stole jewelry from the victim.
It is alleged that the defendant and victim had a romantic relationship that lasted approximately 20 years.
Deputy Bureau Chief Jared Rosenblatt of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Rachael Whalen of the County Court Trial bureau are prosecuting this case. Jeff Groder, Esq. represents the defendant.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.