MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A former mistress of Joe Caronna testified in his murder trial Monday. Janet Vanelli admitted she had an affair with Caronna while both were married. Caronna is accused of killing his wife Tina in October 2008 and stuffing her body in the backseat of their black Chevy Avalanche.
Joe and Tina Caronna were married for 15 years. Prosecutors say for half that time Joe Caronna had multiple affairs. One of those affairs was with a woman who told a courtroom Caronna showed disdain for his wife.
Janet Vaneilli was Joe Caronna's insurance agent, "I wrote his auto, motorcycle and his house insurance," she said. In addition to being Caronna's insurance agent, Vanelli also admitted to having an affair with the accused killer.
"He said they were going through marriage troubles, no sex, pretty much loveless."
Vanelli testified Caronna paid a visit to her office on Friday, October 24, to talk about getting insurance for a new home he and his wife Tina were planning to buy. While there Vanelli said Caronna confided in her "that Tina might be having an affair, he thought that anyway."
As for what Caronna thought about that, Vanelli said he told her, "I don't care if the b**** is or not."
One day after that conversation on October 25, 2008, Tina Caronna disappeared. Her body was found a short time later in the couple's vehicle, left abandoned on a Bartlett residential street.
"I went over to his house to console him and tell him how sorry I was." Vanelli told the courtroom Caronna said to her shortly after his wife's body was found, "I did not kill her, I wouldn't harm her."
Vanelli expressed to the courtroom that two weeks later, Caronna asked if she would come to the couples house and help clean. "Her closets, purses, shoes, lotions - he said he wanted it gone." The reason Caronna gave, Vanelli said, "I just smell her perfume it reminds me of her and it makes me so sad."
While cleaning Tina's closet Vanelli said one of the women helping her found a bible and her birth certificate. According to Vanelli, "[Caronna] took it from one of the ladies and threw it in the garbage can and said, 'She won't need this anymore.'"