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Date: 01-12-2005

Case Style: Estate of Eloise Bonicelli, et al. v. Estate of Joseph Bonicelli, Tom Phillips, and Delfino Ortega.

Case Number: Unknown1/12/2005

Judge: Unknown

Court: District Court, El Paso County, Colorado

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Richard Tegtmeier and Richard F. Bednarski, Tegtmeier Law Firm, PC, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Defendant's Attorney:

Erika Kaiser, Colorado Springs, Colorado represented the estate of Joseph Bonicelli and Randy Torbet, Colorado Springs, Colorado


Estate of Eloise Bonicelli, Mike Bonicelli, age 55, Donna Fuller, age 63, and Gwendolyn Garris, age 54 sued the Estate of Joseph Bonicelli, Tom Phillips, and Delfino Ortega for the wrongful death of Eloise Bonicelli claiming taht Joseph Bonicelli hired Phillips and Ortega to kill Eloise. Joseph Bonicelli conveyed his entire estate including his interest in the "Pearl of Allah", the largest pearl in the world to the child that he had with his second wife, Dee Phillips. The pearl, which weighs 14 pounds was found in 2,500 years ago in the South Pacific Ocean and was named "the Pearl of Lao-tze." It was lost at sea and then found again in 1934 by a Muslim diver who named it "the Pearl of Allah." It was appraised in 1996 for $59.75 million.

Outcome: Plaintiffs' verdict for $32.4 million.

Plaintiff's Experts: Michael Steenrod, Colorado Springs, Colorado, gemologist

Defendant's Experts: None

Comments: None

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