(La Porte, IN) - A jury will decide whether a business executive from La Porte was murdered or if his brother acted in self-defense. Opening arguments were given Tuesday in the trial of 38-year old Gyle Delrio. Delrio is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with murder, aggravated battery, voluntary manslaughter and theft.
Paul Delrio, 41, also of La Porte died of a brain injury from being hit on the head with a bed post, authorities said. According to authorities, a lacerated liver and loss of blood contributed to his death in October of 2019.
La Porte County Prosecutor Julianne Havens said both men drank alcohol before the defendant started breaking furniture inside a home they lived at with their mother in the 200 block of West Johnson Road. She said Paul and his mother left the residence to escape the disruption. A short time later, Havens said the defendant told his mother during a phone call “I’m going to get Paul.”
That same night, Havens said the victim was found unconscious on a bedroom floor of the residence by emergency responders. She said the defendant reported two burglars had just broken into the home to explain the injuries but later police found his clothing in the blood stained water of a washer in his attempt to clean up the scene. Havens said the defendant also removed rings and other pieces of high-end jewelry worn by his brother.
Defense Attorney Michael Campbell described the victim as the aggressor and a “violent alcoholic.” Campbell said the deceased was legally intoxicated and further angered by his wife filing for divorce and losing his job. He said his client was talking to Paul when the victim became enraged.
Campbell also said his client had to defend himself but did not explain how he was being threatened. “Paul was on a very downward spiral in life for a long time,” Campbell said.
According to the evidence presented in the courtroom, the victim was Director of Operations for La Porte-based Bruno Enterprises, an owner of numerous chain restaurants in the area. His wife, Jennifer Delrio, testified he resigned because he no longer had time to focus on the job and his over 30 rental properties. “He agreed it was no longer a good fit,” she said.
Mrs. Delrio also testified she worked in human resources at the same company and purchased jewelry for her husband in places like Aruba, an island country in the Caribbean. Havens said the stolen jewelry was buried in the backyard and later recovered after the defendant told his mother where to find it.