BY MICHAEL RICONDA
NEW CITY – Criminal charges stemming from the alleged murder of Peggy Nadell by her daughter-in-law Diane Nadell, 50, of Cutler Bay, Florida, were upgraded during Diane’s arraignment at the Clarkstown Justice Court on the morning of July 14.
Diane Nadell, who went before the Clarktown Justice Court this morning for her arraignment, now stands accused of first degree murder, a felony charge which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Nadell previously stood accused of second degree murder and second degree criminal conspiracy to commit murder.
Diane Nadell is one of four defendants charged in connection to what police argue was a scheme to gain access to Nadell’s $4 million estate. Last Thursday, Andrea Benson of Washington D.C. was arraigned on second degree murder and murder conspiracy charges for allegedly helping Diane beat and stab Peggy Nadell to death in her Andover Road home.
Eltia Grant, 24 of East Long Beach, California and Tanisha Joyner, 26 of Washington D.C., also face charges of second degree conspiracy to commit murder. Police believe that in exchange for a monetary payment, Grant and Joyner conspired with Benson to engineer an alibi for Nadell.
The January 25 murder of Nadell, who was known locally for her service with the Clarkstown Democrats and an array of other community service organizations, jolted the relatively peaceful Town of Clarkstown. Hence, the scene at the Clarkstown Justice Court bustled with energy as Peggy Nadell’s friends and family members packed the courtroom to support the prosecution. Many wore buttons emblazoned with a picture of the late Nadell and a caption which read “Justice for Peggy.”
Kristen Zebrowski-Stavisky, the Democratic Chairwoman for Clarkstown and a friend of Peggy Nadell, offered her own support for the prosecution and lauded Peggy Nadell as a “giving, caring person” whose service to Clarkstown could never be replaced.
“Peggy was the person who did everything for this community,” Zebrowski-Stavisky said.
Other friends and family members cited the ongoing legal case against Diane Nadell and declined to comment.