Francis “Frank” Tattoli, 30, was convicted of kidnapping and killing 25-year-old Monet Thomas, 25, in the East Rutherford apartment building where they both resided.
Jurors in Hackensack found Tattoli not guilty of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose despite having determined that the defendant murdered his female neighbor.
The victim, a group sales manager for a Secaucus hotel, was born in Teaneck and lived in Kearny before moving into an apartment in the three-story Summer Street building in East Rutherford with her boyfriend, Jonathan Ferreira.
Thomas was attacked in the hallway of the three-story Summer Street apartment building after taking her pet bulldog for a walk in December 2016.
Surveillance video showed the woman trying to fight off her attacked as Tattoli grabbed her by the throat and dragged her into his apartment.
Bloodied by defense wounds, Tattoli emerged moments later on the video, drinking a soda.
Later, Ferreira, found the dog in a parking lot outside the building and then he found Thomas critically injured in the doorway of Tattoli’s first-floor apartment.
Ferreira initially believed the body was Tattoli’s, assuming the known drug user had overdosed, but when he realized it was that of his girlfriend, he tried desperately to revive her.
Ferrerira found Tattoli in a bedroom of the apartment and began beating him, causing the assailant to flee but East Rutherford police captured him a short distance away.
A bloody knife was recovered at the scene.