Witness admits to affair with Joe Caronna - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Witness admits to affair with Joe Caronna

John Bowers testified that Caronna told him how he killed his wife while sharing a holding cell. John Bowers testified that Caronna told him how he killed his wife while sharing a holding cell.
Janet Vanelli took the stand on day five of Joe Caronna's trial.  She admitted to having an affair with Caronna. Janet Vanelli took the stand on day five of Joe Caronna's trial. She admitted to having an affair with Caronna.

(WMC-TV) – Startling testimony during Joe Caronna's trial reveals he had several affairs and may have been very quick to get rid of his wife's possessions after her death.

The state presented proof that Caronna cheated his clients out of money. They also claim he had multiple affairs before his wife was murdered.

On the witness stand in open court, co-worker Janet Vanelli admitted to having an affair with Caronna. She said it was a one-time sexual encounter back in May 2002.

"Where did y'all have this particular affair moment?" asked Prosecutor Karen Cook.

The witness, Janet Vanelli, replied, "In his house."

Cook continued to ask, "What did he tell you about Tina?"

In which Vanelli responded, "He said they were going through marriage troubles. No sex. Pretty much loveless."

Joe Caronna is on trial, accused of murdering his wife, Tina, in October 2008.

Vanelli went to Joe's house the day Tina's body was found. She remembered it smelled like bleach, and Joe later walked her to her car.

"He looked at us and said, ‘Just want to let y'all know, y'all know, I'm sorry. Y'all know that I did not kill her. I wouldn't harm her,'" Vanelli said on the witness stand.

Cook asked, "Had you asked him about anything that had happened to her?"

"No, that was all volunteered," Vanelli answered.

Later, Vanelli was part of a group that went to Joe's house to help clean out Tina's closet to sell her stuff for charity.

"JANET VANELLI: There was a bible and her birth certificate," said Vanelli. "And he threw it in the garbage can and said, 'She won't need this anymore.'"

In addition to Janet Vanelli's testimony, a federal convict also took the stand. He told the jury that Caronna confessed to killing his wife.

"We carried on a conversation for eight hours in there," said John Bowers, who is in federal prison on meth charges.

Bowers said he shared a holding cell with Caronna.

"I turned around and asked, ‘How do you kill somebody with all this CSI and all this technology?" Bowers said he asked Caronna. "He turned around and responded, ‘Suffocate ‘em. Put a bag over their head.'"

Bowers says Joe gave him details.

"They were in his house, he and his wife. They were arguing and it escalated all the way back to the garage and he followed her to the truck. He duct-taped her and put a bag over her head," said Bowers. "He told me he dropped her off behind the driver's license place over there off of Summer."

Bowers also said Caronna told him he paid someone to drive him back.

Defense attorneys tried to cast doubt on Bower's claims by suggesting he is merely looking for a sentence reduction.

Action News 5's Nick Kenney is keeping us up-to-date with everything happening in the courtroom via his live blog. You can follow it by clicking here or by following @nickthenewsguy on Twitter.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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