Lehigh Valley

Cory Vankeuren guilty of murder in shooting of Audrey Giannotti in Laureldale home

READING, Pa. - A Lehigh County man is facing life behind bars for the murder of a woman in Laureldale nearly six years ago.

A judge Wednesday found Cory Vankeuren guilty of first degree murder for the deadly shooting of Audrey Giannotti inside the home she shared with her aunt and uncle on Earl Street in Laureldale, Berks Co., on Jan. 13, 2007.

Vankeuren, 37, faces an automatic life sentence, which will be formally handed down on Oct. 17, court officials said.

The short, non-jury trial began Tuesday with opening statements from attorneys and witnesses taking the stand for the prosecution.

Giannotti, 20, was shot to death inside as she slept with her two young children, who were both physically unharmed, inside her aunt and uncle's home.

The case grew cold for more than four years until investigators said they could determine that Vankeuren's gun was used to kill Giannotti. Vankeuren was arrested on Mar. 15, 2011 as he left his sister's home in Emmaus, Lehigh Co., where he was living, police said.

A possible motive for the homicide was a romantic interest Vankeuren had in Giannotti, said District Attorney John Adams. While Vankeuren was living in Maxatawny Township, near Kutztown, at the time of the killing, investigators said he would occasionally stay at the home of Giannotti's aunt and uncle as their guest.

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