Self Defense or Murder? '20/20' Goes Inside Case of Woman Convicted of Killing Allegedly Abusive Boyfriend

Tonight's episode of 20/20 focuses on the controversial murder conviction of Nicole "Nikki" Addimandos in the death of boyfriend Christopher Grover

Nikki Addimando
Nikki Addimando. Photo: JOHN INGRASSIA AND BENJAMIN OSTRER, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

On Sept. 28, 2017, 30-year-old Christopher Grover was found dead from a gunshot wound in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., home he shared with his girlfriend, Nicole "Nikki" Addimando.

Nobody disputes that Addimando pulled the trigger — but many believe that as an alleged survivor of domestic violence at Grover's hands, she shouldn't serve prison time for the killing.

But Grover's family insists she's a murderer who killed Grover, a popular gymnastics coach in their town, in cold blood.

At her trial, numerous photos of Addimando's injuries over the years were shown, including bruises to her chest and face and rope-like burns. But prosecutors argued that there was no evidence tying Grover to the injuries. They claimed the injuries could have been self-inflicted.

Tonight's 20/20 episode focuses on Addimando's case and features her first television interview. The episode also features additional exclusive interviews with Addimando's sister, therapist, appellate attorney and an ex-girlfriend of Grover's.

(The episode airs tonight from 9:01 - 11:00 p.m. ET on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu the next day. An exclusive clip of tonight's episode is shown below.)

Despite her self-defense claims, Addimando was arrested and charged with murdering Grover. During trial, she testified that she shot him after he threatened to kill her with the same gun.

In 2019, Addimando was convicted of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. At her sentencing, she received 19 years to life in prison. But in July 2021, her sentence was reduced to 7.5 years under the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act.

Christopher Grover
Christopher Grover. Change.org

The case has garnered national attention, and domestic violence advocates have rallied in support of Addimando. But after Addimando requested clemency, Grover's family created a petition against her early release, ABC News reports. Her clemency application is still pending.

20/20 airs tonight, Feb. 3 from 9:01 - 11:00 p.m. ET on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu the next day.

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