District Attorney Mark Powell began his opening statements this morning in the first-degree murder case Monday against Cornelius Mapson. In his opening, Powell said Mapson masterminded the plan to kill confidential informant Nina Gatto in desperation after several attempts to cause her to fatally overdose failed. Gatto was days away from testifying that she had purchased drugs from Mapson two months earlier. “The fuse on the bomb continued to burn … Mapson’s world was going to implode,” Powell said.
Mapson faces first and third-degree murder, as well as other charges in Gatto’s homicide. Authorities say the 24-year-old woman was suffocated inside her Scranton apartment on April 20, 2018.
Powell alleges Mapson and two other people conspired to kill Gatto to keep her from testifying after county detectives used her as an informant to buy drugs from Mapson in February 2018.
Two other defendants in the case, Kevin Weeks and Melinda Palermo, pleaded guilty.
The District Attorney earlier dropped his intention to seek the death penalty in the case.
Hanover Township Police ask for help to identify alleged Goodwill thief