Delco court hears testimony in death of Ridley Township man

Scott Robins and stepdaughter Kristen Snow. Robins was allegedly shot by his neighbor 6 times in October 2011.
Scott Robins and stepdaughter Kristen Snow. Robins was allegedly shot by his neighbor 6 times in October 2011.
Posted: September 25, 2012

Kristen Snow remembered how the dew from the grass felt on her skin, how the intense pain in her body forced her into a fetal position, and how the man standing above her pointing a gun at her head wore bifocals.

"It felt like forever," the 24-year-old Ridley Township woman told a Delaware County Court jury as she dabbed at her eyes with tissues.

James Dellavecchia, 73, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his neighbor Scott Robins, 42, who was shot six times as he left for work on an October morning last year. Snow, the victim's stepdaughter, was critically wounded.

Prosecutors said a festering neighborhood dispute over construction noise turned into a deadly confrontation.

Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan told the Delaware County Court jury that Dellavecchia had purchased the gun he used to kill Robins only months before and that he hid in the predawn light waiting for Robins to emerge from his home to kill him.

Robins' coworker at a fire-sprinkler installation company, Rick Wallace, testified that the two would meet at Robins' house and leave for work. That morning, he was early and sat in the van waiting. Robins opened the driver's side door and then Wallace heard a noise.

"I can still see the muzzle flashes," he testified.

Wallace slid under the van and watched as someone wearing white sneakers and jeans moved from around the driver's side to the back of the vehicle. Wallace then got up and ran for blocks.

Snow never met Dellavecchia before he allegedly shot her. She was busy working three jobs and only went home to "shower and sleep."

As she lay critically wounded with Dellavecchia standing above her, the two just stared at each other, saying nothing, until he walked away, she said.

Snow said she could hear her stepfather's moans and see his blood running down the driveway.

From the chaos that followed the shooting, Snow remembered something more - a police officer asking her father who shot him.

" 'Dellavecchia did it,' " Snow said she heard Robins tell police. "Those were the last words I heard from him."

Testimony continues Wednesday before Common Pleas Court Judge Michael F.X. Coll.

Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149, or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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