STRATHAM, NH (TUSEN) – A former security guard accused of stabbing a Timberland employee to death at company headquarters last year has agreed to plead guilty, court documents show.
Robert Pavao, 22, formerly of Berwick, Maine, is expected to plead guilty to second degree murder in connection with the death of Timberland marketing director Catherine Heppner, 46, as part of a negotiated deal, reported the Portsmouth Herald.
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Pavao is expected to register his plea on November 3 in Rockingham County Superior Court and be sentenced the same day. His lawyer declined to comment on Monday.
He was originally charged with first and second degree murder and pleaded not guilty.
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The terms of the plea deal provide for a 55-year life sentence, with five years of the 20-year deferred sentence subject to conditions. A first-degree conviction would have required a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Pavao worked as a security guard for Securitas Security Services, which was hired to provide security for Timberland. He was arrested on February 9, 2020, after officers responded to Timberland headquarters in Stratham in response to a call to 911 reporting a stabbing.
A second degree murder indictment alleges Pavao recklessly caused Heppner’s death “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by stabbing her.”
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