Furniture Salesman Admits Killing Rival 24 Years Ago

Sam Perone murdered fellow salesman in Ohio in 1992
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2016 6:53 AM CDT
Furniture Salesman Admits Killing Rival 24 Years Ago
A 2015 photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix shows Sam Perone.   (Uncredited)

Detectives in Ohio have closed a 24-year-old murder case, and the outcome isn't much of a surprise to them: One furniture salesman killed another. Sam Perone, now 68, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, admitting that he shot 41-year-old Richard Woods in 1992, reports the Dayton Daily News. Perone had been a suspect from the start, given that Woods had visited his store on the night he disappeared on Perone's request. His body was found a month later in a ravine near Perone's store in Lebanon. Blood stains found in the store were inconclusive at the time, but detectives used more modern techniques to ID Woods' blood in both the store and at Perone's home. Perone was arrested in Arizona last year and extradited to Ohio.

It's a "small measure of justice," Woods' widow and the mother of his four children told the judge, per the AP. She called Perone a "bad man" who had threatened her husband before his murder. The judge sentenced Perone to 11 years in prison, with credit for the year he's been in custody. WCPO describes Woods as having been a successful salesman who'd made his name in the furniture industry, and authorities chalked up the motive to what the Washington Post calls "professional jealousy." The newspaper notes that Perone's wife was heard on a wiretap saying to her husband, "If you go down, I go down," but under Perone's plea agreement, she won't be prosecuted. (An ex-boyfriend who is now a paraplegic is accused in a woman's 33-year-old murder.)

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