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JURY SELECTION BEGINS IN RETRIAL OF TOMAINO

Jury selection began Monday in State Supreme Court in the retrial of John M. Tomaino in the 1990 death of his wife.

Tomaino was convicted three years ago, then was released on appeal and was re-indicted by a second grand jury for the alleged murder of his 37-year-old wife.

Less than two weeks before the Tomainos' divorce was to have become final, Linda Tomaino, a nursing supervisor at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, was found dead in the bedroom of her Wheatfield home. A .45-caliber handgun was found near her body. She had been shot in the head.

Authorities at first believed Mrs. Tomaino committed suicide, but a special grand jury accused Tomaino of killing his wife while their teen-age son and daughter waited outside in the car to go to church.

Tomaino, a Wheatfield lumber company salesman, was convicted in September 1996 of second-degree murder and was sentenced the following January to 20 years to life in prison. After serving about a year in Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Tomaino was released when the conviction was overturned by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.

A different grand jury indicted Tomaino in July 1998 for the second time and he was
released on $50,000 bail.

Jury selection for the new trial is expected to take several days. Buffalo attorney Paul J. Cambria is defending Tomaino. Frank A. Sedita III, of the Erie County district attorney's office, is prosecuting in the trial before Supreme Court Justice
Christopher J. Burns.

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