Get our newsletters

Pina’s Pizza co-owner said killing was self-defense


Attorneys for the co-owner of Chalfont’s Pina’s Pizza told a judge Anna Maria Tolomello killed her longtime partner earlier this year in self-defense.

During a preliminary hearing last week before District Judge Maggie Snow, Tolomello’s lawyers said she shot 65-year-old Giovanni Gallini in the head in self-defense. At the time of her arrest, Tolomello, 48, told Hilltown Township police she acted in self-defense and directed them to the “wrapped up” body.

“I think the evidence made it clear that this was simply not a first-degree murder case and frankly I think the evidence on the record here today indicated that it was self-defense,” said Antonetta Stance, one of Tolomello’s attorneys, after the hearing, according to news reports.

An autopsy showed Gallini was shot in the back of the head, Bucks County Deputy District Christopher Rees told the court.

Snow moved all charges against Tolomello to county court, including homicide, possessing an instrument of crime, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Tolomello and Gallini shared a home on the 1400 block of Limekiln Pike in the Chalfont section of New Britain Township.

On March 30, police found Gallini’s body wrapped in a blue tarp in the master bedroom, where Tolomello had told them it would be. She allegedly had a seven feet long, three feet deep and three feet wide hole dug in the backyard of the property.

Authorities went to the home after Gallina’s son, Phillip, reported that he had not heard from his father, who he normally spoke to almost every day, since March 16. Phillip Gallina told police that Tolomello told him his father was away on business but would not say where or when he would be home.

Tolomello is being held without bail in the Bucks County jail.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.