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Former Hatebreed Drummer Nicholas Papantoniou Found Guilty of Felony Murder

Hamden Police Department
Hamden Police Department

A former drummer for the band Hatebreed has found himself in trouble with the law. According to the New Haven Register, after re-hearing testimony from former Hatebreed drummer Nicholas Papantoniou on Thursday (March 3), a jury found him guilty of felony murder and two other charges related to an assault upon Larry Dildy in his home in Hamden, Ct.

According to the paper, the 39-year-old rocker was also found guilty of first-degree burglary and criminal possession of a firearm. He’s due to be sentenced on May 26 and could face up to 90 years in prison.

Deliberations began on Wednesday (March 2), but within an hour the jurors asked to re-hear Papantonious’s testimony.¬†According to the New Haven Register, Papantoniou stated in his testimony that he was an unwitting participant in William Coutermash’s plan to drive to Dildy’s house and steal money or pills from him. The two men drove to Dildy’s home on a Sunday morning in October, thinking that Dildy wouldn’t be home because of church.

Coutermash, who had entered into a plea deal in exchange for his cooperation, testified that when they saw Dildy outside his home washing his car, he wanted to wait until he left, but soon afterward, Papantoniou decided to go it on his own. He also testified that he later heard sirens and saw emergency vehicles pull up and as he drove away, he spotted Papantoniou running down a nearby street. He claimed the musician told him that he had shot Dildy in the genitals and stomach.

Papantoniou had told the jury that Coutermash had stated he wanted to collect the money and when they reached the house Coutermash asked him to watch his back. He added that when they reached the top of the stairs to the second floor apartment that Coutermash gave him a gun. According to Papantoniou’s testimony, Coutermash went in first and he and Dildy began to argue over the debt Dildy owed. The musician then entered asking the two men to chill out, but in his testimony he stated that Coutermash had repeatedly stabbed Dildy. He claimed that Dildy then rushed him as Coutermash fled and his gun went off twice accidentally as they struggled over the weapon.

Papantoniou’s tenure in Hatebreed was brief. Going under the nickname “Nickel P,” he manned the drum kit in 1996 and 1997. The band’s full-length debut, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire, was released in 1997, but Jamie Pushbutton was listed as the drummer on the disc. He also was not the drummer on the band’s three mid-’90s EPs that preceded their full-length debut.

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