Fifteen-year-old Lisa Casella, charged with two other teen-agers in the stabbing death of her father last Thursday in Adelphi, made an early-morning visit to a funeral home yesterday for a private viewing of her father's body.
The funeral for 45-year-old Emilio Casella was held a few hours later, but his daughter did not attend. The girl's mother, Anna Casella, who was slightly wounded in the attack at the Adelphi home, had given her permission for yesterday's early morning visit.
Lisa and two youths, Daniel Eric Reedy, 15, and Fred Allan Mozingo, 19, are being held in the Prince George's County jail without bond on charges of first degree murder. Police say Casella contracted with the youths to kill her parents.
Prince George's County deputy sheriffs whisked the teen-ager into the Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home about 7:30 a.m. and she remained for about 10 minutes. Employes at the funeral home would not talk about the visit.
Lisa's attorney, Joseph F. Vallario Jr., said yesterday that she asked him to file a motion with District Court Judge Joseph Casula asking that she be allowed to see her father one last time. The judge talked to her mother, who gave her permission, and the motion was granted.
The funeral service, attended by about 200 family members and friends, was held at 10 a.m. at the St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring. A note on the church door said that the funeral had been postponed from Monday to allow time for the arrival of Casella's relatives from Italy. According to friends, Casella's father arrived a few days ago from Vancouver.
Vallario, a Democratic state delegate from southern Prince George's, and cocounsel Joel Chasnoff, a delegate from Montgomery County, were hired by one of Lisa's first cousins, Vallario said.
"She's doing pretty well. She was very remorseful when we first met on Sunday," Vallario said, adding that the girl was just beginning to realize the full impact of what happened. The lawyer said that the girl speaks of her father in the present tense. Vallario said that the case presents "a very unusual set of facts."
Police allege that last Thursday night, Lisa let the two boys into her house and then called for her father to come upstairs, where he was beaten and fatally stabbed by the boys. Police said that they believe that Lisa offered Reedy and Mozingo $5,000 to kill her parents, who did not approve of her friendship with Reedy.
At yesterday's service, Emilio Casella, a hairdresser, was described as a man who brought happiness into the lives of the people he touched.
Customers of the beauty salon gathered outside of the church to discuss the tragedy. One woman remarked, "It makes you look at your own children in a different light."