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Christine Paolilla

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Education  Clear Lake High School
Criminal status  Incarcerated
Date apprehended  July 19, 2006
Motive  Robbery
Killed  4
Name  Christine Paolilla

Christine Paolilla cries on October 2, 2008 as opening statements in her capital murder trial are given

Full Name  Christine Marie Paolilla
Born  March 31, 1986 (Age 35) (1986-03-31) Long Island, New York
Criminal charge  Capital murder (4 counts)
Spouse(s)  Stanley Justin Rott (m. 2005; div. 2009)
Conviction(s)  capital murder (4 counts)

Criminal penalty  Life imprisonment

Similar  Dana Sue Gray, Christine Falling, Diane Downs, Andrea Yates, Janie Lou Gibbs

Christine Marie Paolilla (born March 31, 1986) is a convicted American murderer who is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting four people, including two of her friends, in their Clear Lake City, Texas home on July 18, 2003. The killings, which came to be known as the "Clear Lake murders," made national headlines.

Contents

Christine Paolilla's first court appearance since her arrest

Paolilla, who was 17 years old at the time of the murders, was accompanied by her then-boyfriend, Christopher Snider. She was arrested on July 19, 2006, three years and one day after the murders were committed. Paolilla was convicted in October 2008 and sentenced to life in prison. Snider committed suicide in July 2006 before he was apprehended by police.

Christine Paolilla's boyfriend Christopher Snider wearing a black t-shirt

Murder in a snap christine paolilla oxygen


Early life

Christine Paolilla's first court appearance since her arrest

Paolilla was born in Long Island, New York to Lori, a stay-at-home mom, and Charles Paolilla, a construction worker. She has an older brother, John. When Paolilla was 2 years old, her father was killed in a construction accident. Following the death of her husband, Lori Paolilla began abusing drugs and eventually lost custody of her children to her parents. When Paolilla was in kindergarten, she was diagnosed with alopecia which caused her to lose her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. As a result of the hair loss, Paolilla was forced to wear wigs. She also had poor vision and wore thick glasses. Paolilla was frequently ridiculed and bullied by her classmates for her appearance, which affected her self-confidence.

Christine Paolilla with make up on her face

Paolilla was eventually reunited with her mother who had overcome her drug addiction and remarried. The family then moved to Clear Lake City, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Paolilla enrolled at Clear Lake High School. She was befriended by two popular students, Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell, who helped her improve her appearance and fit in with the other students. In 2003, Paolilla was voted "Miss Irresistible" by her school's student body. That year, she also began a relationship with 21-year-old Christopher Lee Snider. Paolilla's mother and stepfather disapproved of Snider, as did Koloroutis and Rowell, because of his frequent drug use and extensive criminal record. These fears would be substantiated, as Paolilla would increasingly experiment with various drugs during the year she and Snider were in a relationship.

Lori Paolilla later recalled that Snider isolated her daughter from her friends and family and indicated that the relationship was both abusive and dysfunctional. Snider's family also said the relationship was tumultuous and that Paolilla was prone to jealousy. After one fight with Snider, Paolilla spent the night on the front lawn of his family's home and threatened to kill his family.

Family

Parents > Lori Paolilla & Charles Paolilla 

Christine Paolilla at home with stepfather Tom Dick, left, and Lori Paolilla, right, during her middle school years

Christine Paolilla at home with stepfather Tom Dick, left, and Lori Paolilla, right, during her middle school years.

Christine Paolilla with mom Lori Paolilla at her graduation

Christine Paolilla with mom Lori Paolilla.

Christine Paolilla was born in New York to Charles Paolilla, a construction worker and Lori, a stay-at-home mom. She also had one older brother. Her father was killed in a worksite accident when she was merely two years old. Her mother Lori was not able to cope after the accidental death of her husband, and she found solace in drugs. This eventually lead to her being deprived of the custody of her children. The children were then left to the care of Lori's parents. After years passed, Paolilla got reunited with her mother, who by then, had remarried and overcome her drug addiction. They then moved to Clear Lake City, Texas, which was a suburb of Houston and she enrolled at Clear Lake High School. 

Boyfriend > Christopher Lee Snider 

Christine Paolilla's boyriend Christopher Lee Snider at the falls

While at Clear Lake High School, Christine Paolilla started a relationship with 21-year-old Christopher Lee Snider. He was a “pushy and aggressive” kid with a criminal record and a hard-drug habit. It was Snider who introduced Paolilla to drugs. Her mother and stepdad strongly disapproved of her relationship with Snider as they knew he was a bad influence on her. Her high school friends, Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell, also despised the relationship. Around the Snider home, Paolilla was known as “the psycho.” as she used to spend hours outside Snider’s home stalking him when they fought with each other. 

Later, in her confession, Paolilla told the police that Snider had anger issues and was ready to do anything for getting what he wanted. She also told police that he was very influential in her life, and she was terrified of him. Paolilla said it was Snider's idea to visit her two friends and rob them. She also told that Snider used to wonder how it will feel to kill someone.

On July 18, 2003, Snider and Paolilla planned to steal the drugs that were kept at her friend Rowell's house in Clear Lake City. The attempt led to the shooting of all the four people present there. Snider and Paolilla left little evidence at the crime scene, and so it took almost three years for the mystery to unfold. At that time, Snider was staying with a woman in Greenville whom he had met on the Internet. He committed suicide by ingesting a lethal dose of painkillers before police could catch him for the murders he committed. Police found his decomposed body in the woods. 

Justin Rott > Paolilla’s Husband 

Christine with her husband, Justin Rott

Christine with her husband, Justin

Justin Rott is the husband of Christine Paolilla, an American mass murderer who was involved in a massacre which killed four people, including two of her best friends, in their home at Clear Lake City, Texas. Rott was a severe heroin addict, and he met Paolilla at a rehab center, and they got married later. Rott took Paolilla from rehab under his wings and together they got more addicted to the drugs.

The Hotel room where Christine and her husband were staying

The Hotel room where Christine and her husband were staying.

Rott, who was not married to Paolilla at the time of the killings, told the police that his wife had confessed to him that she and her ex-boyfriend Snider committed the Clear Lake Murders. He said he does not remember the actual date his wife shared the details of the murder to him, but he was sure it was while they lived in a San Antonio motel room shooting heroin up their veins day after day. He said that she never left that room even for once and he went out only to get food or drugs. He also admitted that they spent almost $500 on drugs daily.

He said that his wife’s narration of the brutal murders left him overwhelmed, and it used to give him nightmares. Rott said he was at first not able to believe what he heard from her and was on denial. He couldn’t imagine his wife doing something as relentless as that. Paolilla and Rott were together in the motel room when the police arrived. The motel room was a mess. There was blood on the walls of the room and hundreds of used needles scattered on the floor. There were also about 80 to 85 needles lined up on a dresser with heroin inside them. Police immediately arrested Paolilla and Rott was on probation, and was offered to forgo the drug charge if he will testify against Paolilla, and that’s exactly what Rott did.

Victims 

Her Best Friend Rachael Koloroutis 

Christine Paolilla's bestfriend Rachael Koloroutis

Rachael was born November 20, 1984 to George and Ann Koloroutis ,She had a brother and two sisters ,She used to work for The UPS Store, Randalls and Denny's. Rachael also babysat children as she loved them a lot and was a good artist as well. Rachael became best friend of Paolilla in High School. Paolilla suffered from alopecia areata which caused bald spots on her head since she was seven. Due to this, she was an easy target for the bullies in her school. But when she joined Clear Lake High School, one of the most popular students in the school, Rachael Koloroutis, helped her to improve her appearance and regain her self-confidence. Rachael protected her and became her close friend. She was not supportive of her relationship with Snider as he was a drug addict. Rachael was her senior in the school, and she graduated early and went on with her life. She started to earn well after her high school. This left Paolilla alone, jealous and resentful. She got close to Snider again and together they decided to rob Tiffany Rowell's house for money and drugs. Rachael has moved in to Tiffany's home and she was there when Snider and Paolilla came, and they brutally murdered her.

The police were sure that the murders were the outcome of deep personal hatred. Police felt that there must have been clear-cut jealousy between Koloroutis and Paolilla. Koloroutis and Rowell were both shot many times, including in the crotch which can be seen as a proof of sexual envy. Even though shot 12 times, Koloroutis was still alive, and she crawled to call 911. When Paolilla saw this, she took hold of her pistol, and as she had no bullets left, she bashed the gun in Rachael's head and killed her. Later, Rachael Koloroutis was buried at Forest Park East Cemetery, Webster, Harris County, Texas, USA.

Her Best Friend Tiffany Rowell 

Christine Paolilla's best friend Tiffany Rowell wearing a gray top and colorful hat

Tiffany Rowell was a close friend of Rachael Koloroutis, and she also supported Paolilla during her Clear Lake High School days. They taught her to dress and to do her makeup properly. They helped her buy more attractive wigs so that she could hide her baldness. The transformation was striking – and, in 2003, Christine was voted Miss Irresistible by classmates. Still, in the end, it was at Tiffany’s home the murders took place. Tiffany was living alone at her family home.  Tiffany’s mother died from cancer several years ago, and her father remarried and moved to Manvel, leaving her to complete her graduation. Her friend Koloroutis also had moved in recently with her. Tiffany had a boyfriend call Precella, who was a drug dealer, and he used to trade drugs at Tiffany's house. This made Tiffany's home a hangout place for her friends. Snider and Paolilla knew they certainly stocked up drugs and so they decided to rob the house. But the attempt to rob drugs ended in the murder of four people, including Tiffany. 

Marcus Ray Precella 

Marcus Ray Precella

Marcus Ray Precella was Tiffany Rowell’s boyfriend and a drug dealer who mainly dealt cocaine and ecstasy. He often used his girlfriend Tiffany’s home as a point for his drug dealings. This made Paolilla and Snider think that the place had drugs and they decided to steal it. Later Paolilla said that she was told by Snider to keep the gun on Marcus Precella and to walk him around the house to find whatever drugs and money that was there in the house. It was the argument between Marcus and Snider, which lead to the murders. 

Adelbert Nicholas Sanchez 

Adelbert Nicholas Sanchez wearing white and blue polo

Adelbert was Marcus's cousin, and he was called "D" by his friends. He was just 21 when he got murdered. He was accompanying Marcus and got killed because Snider and Paolilla could not take the risk of leaving out any witnesses for the massacre they performed. 

Murders

On July 18, 2003, Paolilla and Snider went to her friend Tiffany Rowell's home in Clear Lake City. Also at the home were Rachael Koloroutis, Rowell's boyfriend Marcus Precella, and Precella's cousin Adelbert Sanchez. According to Paolilla, she and Snider planned to steal the drugs that were kept at the house but Snider reportedly got into an argument with Precella which led to the shootings of Rowell, Koloroutis, Precella, and Sanchez. All four victims were shot multiple times. Rachael Koloroutis attempted to crawl to a phone to call 911 after she was shot but Paolilla struck her in the head multiple times with the butt of a 38-caliber revolver, bashing in her skull. Paolilla then shot Koloroutis in the crotch. Snider and Paolilla left little evidence at the crime scene leading police to suspect that the killings were drug related as Marcus Precella and Adelbert Sanchez reportedly sold drugs from the home. The only evidence police had were descriptions of the suspects who were seen walking to and from the home by neighbors.

Gun used for murder

The gun used for murder

An hour after the murders, Snider drove Paolilla to Walgreens where she was scheduled to work as a cashier.

Apprehension

In 2004, Paolilla and Snider ended their relationship after Snider was jailed in Kentucky for car theft. Shortly thereafter, Paolilla entered rehab in Kerrville, Texas. It was there that she met Stanley Justin Rott, a heroin user with whom she began a relationship. The couple married in March 2005. Around that time, Paolilla came into a $360,000 trust fund left to her by her father. Paolilla used a portion of the money to buy a condo. In July 2005, the second anniversary of the murders, Paolilla saw a newscast on television about the still unsolved case. She became upset after seeing sketches of the suspects given by neighbors and confessed to Rott that she and Snider had committed the murders. The couple then went into hiding. By November 2005, Paolilla and Rott were living in a motel room in San Antonio. For the next eight months, the couple holed up in the room, shooting heroin and cocaine.

On July 8, 2006, police received an anonymous tip via Crimestoppers regarding the murders of Rowell, Koloroutis, Precella, and Sanchez. The male caller told police that he had been in rehab with Paolilla who had admitted to being a participant in the crime (it was later reported that Justin Rott was not the man who called in the tip). Police tracked Paolilla down in San Antonio and arrested her on July 19, 2006. (Paolilla's husband was also arrested as police found 70 vials of heroin in the couple's room). After their arrests, Rott told police that Paolilla had confessed to him that she had been an active participant in the murders. He stated that Paolilla had gone back into the house and beat Koloroutis to death with a gun. Paolilla initially denied killing her friends, but eventually admitted to participating in the murders but placed all the blame on her ex-boyfriend, Christopher Snider. On July 21, 2006, Paolilla and Snider, who had not yet been apprehended, were charged with capital murder. Paolilla's bail was set at $500,000 as she was considered a flight risk.

In June 2006, Christopher Snider moved to Greenville, South Carolina where he was living with a woman he met online. After Paolilla's arrest that July, one of Snider's family members called to inform him that police had issued a warrant for his arrest in relation to the murders. Acting on a tip that Snider may have committed suicide, police went to Greenville and searched near an area where Snider was reported to have been seen. His decomposing body was found in a heavily wooded area on August 5, 2006. It was later determined that Snider had overdosed on prescription medication.

Trial | Conviction & Verdict 

Christine Paolilla is escorted from the courtroom Monday after the verdict in her trial at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.

On October 13, 2008, Paolilla was convicted of four counts of capital murder. Because she was a juvenile offender at the time of the killings, she was spared the death penalty. The following day, she was sentenced to life in prison. Paolilla filed an appeal on November 29, 2008 on the grounds that "the trial court abused its discretion in setting [Paolilla's] amount of bail at $500,000". An appeals panel decided that the court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed Paolilla's original sentence. She has since filed additional appeals which have also been denied.

As of 2015, Paolilla is incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas and will be eligible for parole in 2046.

The case has been profiled on the documentary crime series 20/20, Snapped, Killer Kids, Forensic Files, Deadly Women, and Redrum.

Where is Christine Paolilla Now ? 

Mountain View Unit, where Christine Paolilla is imprisoned

Mountain View Unit, where Paolilla is imprisoned

On October 13, 2008, Paolilla was found guilty of four counts of capital murder. However, since she was a juvenile at the time of the crime, she was saved from the death penalty. Instead, the next day, she was condemned to life in prison. As of now, Paolilla is imprisoned at the Mountain View Unit in Texas. She will be eligible for parole only in 2046, at the age of 60.

References

Christine Paolilla Wikipedia