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Two arraigned in double murder; lawyer says one "did not want her husband dead"

Investigators believe money and drugs are at the heart of a conspiracy to kill two men in unincorporated Punta Gorda.
Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 11, 2024

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — On March 11, Kelly Schiano and Everett Harper were arraigned in Charlotte County for their alleged role in a double homicide in Punta Gorda.

Schiano, 41, and Harper, 37, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the death of Schiano’s husband Mario Schiano and his friend Anthony Galeotti.

A third suspect who investigators believe was the gunman, Justin Casagranda, was also arrested in Athens, Georgia on murder charges and is waiting to be extradited back to Charlotte County.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said that on Jan. 24, deputies responded to the Schiano home on Trails End Drive where they found Mario Schiano and Galeotti shot to death.

Deputies believe that Schiano and Harper planned the murders and hired Casagranda, a longtime friend of the Schianos, to do the killing. Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said in February that the motive for the murders was likely “based around drugs and money.”

Schiano and Harper have both entered not guilty pleas and are being held in pretrial detention without bond.

"My client is not guilty, she did not plan a murder, she did not want her husband dead, and she did not commit conspiracy either," said Nathan Dougherty, who represents Schiano.

Schiano and Harper are scheduled for a case management conference on May 7 at 1:30 p.m.