NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A former University of Connecticut student was sentenced Wednesday to 55 years in prison for killing a former high school classmate and kidnapping a woman.

Peter Manfredonia, 26, pleaded guilty in February to murder and kidnapping charges in the May 2020 shooting death of his friend, Nicholas Eisele, 23, in Derby, and the kidnapping of Eisele’s girlfriend, Shannon Spies. Investigators said Manfredonia forced Spies into her car and fled the state. He let her go, physically unharmed, near Columbia, New Jersey.

Eisele’s friends and family wore T-shirts to Milford Superior Court Wednesday with his photo inside a heart with the words: “As long as I breathe you’ll be remembered. Justice for Nick.”

“I won’t lie. This plea deal does nothing for me except close the door on this court case,” Spies, 25, said at Manfredonia’s sentencing hearing. “The damage can never be undone. None of this brings Nick back or makes me feel whole again. I will never be the person I was before then. I will never feel safe, even in a room surrounded by only people I know. I will always look at the world differently.”

Spies said she hoped her statement “haunts” Manfredonia for “the rest of his life.”

Manfredonia apologized to Spies and Eisele’s family. It remains unclear what prompted the crime spree.

“There are no words that can possibly atone for what I have done,” he said to Eisele’s family. “My actions were nothing short of reprehensible. … Nick was a good young man to whom I felt no ill will or malice. My actions were senseless. Please know you have my deepest apology.”

Manfredonia has also pleaded guilty to murder, first-degree assault and home invasion in the death of 62-year-old Ted DeMers, who was killed with a Samurai sword in Willington on May 22, 2020. Manfredonia also seriously wounded an 80-year-old man and held the homeowner hostage, according to police and prosecutors.

Authorities said two days later, Manfredonia went to Spies apartment in Derby and fatally shot Eisle.

Manfredonia was arrested in Maryland in 2020 after a six-day manhunt that involved multiple police agencies, including the FBI. Police eventually captured him in Hagerstown, Maryland.

As part of the plea deals, Manfredonia will serve 55 years concurrently. He’s due in court Thursday to be formally sentenced for the Willington crimes.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.

The video below was aired in our 5 p.m. broadcast on April 19, 2023.