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Posted on: March 12, 2020

Long Beach Woman Pleads Guilty to Centre Island Murder

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced today that a Long Beach woman pled guilty to manslaughter for the murder of a Centre Island man on November 20, 2018.

Jennifer Gross, 54, pled guilty today to Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B violent felony) before Judge Meryl Berkowitz. The defendant is due back in court on May 8 and is expected to be sentenced to 22 years in prison.

 “In a fit of uncontrollable rage, this defendant violently beat her partner to death before setting his house on fire to cover up the crime,” DA Singas said. “Our condolences remain with the Coppola family and friends.”

DA Singas said that on November 20, 2018, between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm, the defendant went to 75-year-old James Coppola’s Centre Island home to ask him for money. When Coppola refused to give her money, Gross attacked and beat him with an object from the home about his body and head – ultimately killing him. The defendant then set the house on fire to cover up the murder.

Before setting the house on fire, Gross stole jewelry from the victim.

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.

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