A man in Wake Forest, North Carolina is on trial for allegedly murdering his neighbors. Jonathan Sander is facing charges for the 2016 deaths of 47-year-old Sandy Mazzella, Sandy’s 43-year-old wife Stephanie Ann Mazzella, and Sandy’s 76-year-old mother Elaine Toby Mazzella.
Court documents showed that the defendant allegedly clashed with the victims in the time leading up to the murder. They said he stalked and harassed them. Sandy Mazzella told the court at a 2016 hearing that he and Sander were business partners and friends, according to NJ.com. That relationship fell apart.
“He’s screamed on my property in front of my face,” he said to a judge. “He’s come on my property with a loaded gun.”
Jonathan Sander brought to court in handcuffs to start his triple murder trial in Wake County. Judge Graham Shirley says Sander is being restrained because of outbursts in court during jury selection. Watch live: https://t.co/5xks0HbQ1L #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/svyPYIlamb
— Ed Crump (@EdCrumpABC11) March 25, 2019
“I fear for my life and I fear for my family’s life because of this monster that I see in front of my eye,” said Sandy’s father Salvatore Mazzella.
The judge in the case declined to issue a year-long restraining order against Sander, telling Sandy Mazella his case was too general and didn’t provide enough details. Sander’s attorney argued in court that his client had a “legitimate purpose” to contact them since they were in business together.
Sandy, Stephanie, and Elaine were all found dead at their home on March 25, 2015. Authorities say Sander admitted to the murders. The defendant and victims were also in a dispute over a 2009 Chevy Corvette and 2009 Cadillac, according to court documents obtained by CBS 17. [Screengrab via WTVD]