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Man held without bail in slaying; Possible motive for shooting still unknown.

Byline: Kim Ring

WORCESTER -- While Peter Jasper has been arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his cousin in the parking lot of Smitty's Tavern in December, investigators have not publicly disclosed a motive for the crime.

Dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans, Mr. Jasper spoke just two words Friday during his appearance in Worcester Superior Court before Judge Janet Kenton-Walker: "Not guilty.''

Mr. Jasper, 48, of 16 Cumberland St., is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Paul Milluzzo, a 45-year-old Leicester carpenter, in the parking lot of the West Boylston Street bar shortly after 6:15 p.m. Dec. 22.

Scanner reports from that night indicate police were called after several bar patrons heard gunshots and said that a man was shot in the head in the parking lot. Police found Mr. Milluzzo dead on the ground near his truck.

Mr. Jasper was indicted on the charge after a lengthy police investigation. The investigation included an extensive search of Mr. Jasper's home, less than two miles by car from the tavern, which started New Year's Eve and continued throughout the next day.

"The arrest was the result of an ongoing extensive investigation that involved members of the Worcester police investigation unit and members of District Attorney Joseph Early's office,'' according to a Worcester Police Department news release.

Mr. Jasper's court appearance was brief, with no discussion of a possible motive for the killing, or why Mr. Jasper became a suspect.

Assistant District Attorney Brett Dillon asked that Mr. Jasper be held without right to bail. Judge Kenton-Walker agreed.

In the days after the murder, a tribute to Mr. Milluzzo appeared on Mr. Jasper's Facebook page. It showed a link to the Luke Bryan country song, "Drink a Beer.'' The song lyrics are about a man getting news of the death of a young friend.

Mr. Jasper's ex-wife, Karen Plaud Jasper, and his daughter, along with many others, posted photos of themselves with Mr. Milluzzo on social media shortly after his death. Some of those gathered in court Friday morning wore buttons reading, "Hey Milluzzo, Thanks for the memories,'' similar to a graphic posted on Karen Jasper's Facebook page.

Contact Kim Ring at

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Title Annotation:Local
Author:Ring, Kim
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 21, 2015
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