Sub Shop Owner Allegedly Had Employee Killed with Bat to Avoid Paying Back Wages He Owed
A former upstate New York sub shop manager has pleaded guilty to helping the store's owner kill a 22-year-old employee because she was "causing problems" for him over back pay, say authorities.
On April 30, James Duffy, 35, of Johnstown, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the death of Allyzibeth Lamont of Gloversville on Oct. 28, 2019 at Local Substation No. 9, a sub shop in Johnstown, online court records show.
Shortly after Lamont was killed, Duffy said in a court-filed statement to investigators that owner Georgios Kakavelos, 52, of Ballston Spa, told him that Lamont "was causing problems for him at the labor board" because he owed her money, according to The Daily Gazette.
Duffy, who was the store's manager, told investigators that they spent three days planning the killing, The Daily Gazette reports.
Their April 2020 indictment states that Kakavelos "paid James A. Duffy to kill or assist him in killing Allyzibeth A. Lamont" in Johnstown, The Leader-Herald reports.
On the night of Oct. 28, 2019, Duffy attacked Lamont with a baseball bat inside the sub shop, the court papers state.
Kakavelos was on hand with a garbage bag, Duffy told investigators.
She died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head, New York State Police said at the time.
Lamont was immediately reported missing.
Her body was found three days later in a shallow grave off of a highway exit in Malta, The Leader-Herald reports.
Kakavelos and Duffy allegedly tried to cover up her killing by burying her in a shallow grave covered with branches and fertilizer, which they thought would make her body decompose faster, the prosecutor said, the Times Union reports.
On Oct. 31, 2019, Kakavelos and Duffy were arrested and charged with second-degree murder and concealment of a human corpse.
In April 2020, Kakavelos was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy, two counts of concealment of a human corpse and six counts of tampering with physical evidence, The Leader-Herald reports.
He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Duffy was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy, two counts of concealment of a human corpse and four counts of tampering with physical evidence.
The indictment states that at about 5:20 p.m. on the night Lamont was killed, Kakavelos bought lawn fertilizer, work gloves, pants and a sweatshirt and three hours later, bought duct tape, plastic sheeting, towels and bleach.
Duffy agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge of second-degree murder, The Daily Gazette reports.
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He had initially pleaded not guilty and will be sentenced in July.
Kakavelos' trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.
In an email to PEOPLE, Kakavelos' attorney, Kevin K. O'Brien, wrote, in part, "Mr. Kakavelos has been steadfast in his position that he is innocent of this horrific crime. We mourn the death of Ms Lamont as she was someone Mr. Kakavelos cared about as an employee who worked closely with him."
O'Brien added that Duffy, "has crafted a story like a petulant child looking to escape his sole responsibility in this case. Duffy's contempt for Mr Kakavelos is obvious in everything he said and did said after he Murdered Ms. Lamont. Mr. Kakavelos is everything Mr. Duffy is not. "
An attorney for Duffy did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.