Girlfriend Accused of Former Dealership Owner's Murder

By Lindsay Hood and Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011  |  Updated 12:17 PM PDT
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He Tried Kicking Her Out, She Snapped: Police

NBC Miami

Vinci's mansion in Ft. Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale police believe they found out who killed a former San Diegan.

Ron Vinci, who lived in Rancho Santa Fe and once owned Pacific Honda in Kearny Mesa, was found dead in his Florida mansion on June 28.

Police have arrested Vinci's live-in girlfriend, Catherine Pileggi. Detectives said Vinci was trying to break off his relationship with Pileggi at the time of his death. They believe an argument between Pileggi and Vinci turned fatal.

Homicide detectives arrested Pileggi on July 5 after finding several items linking Pileggi to the scene. Pileggi is charged with first degree murder.

Vinci was found deceased at his home, wrapped in bedding and plastic bags.

He owned several Honda dealerships in the 1960s, rose to millionaire status and then later sold his franchises.

Vinci became an infamous figure in his Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood when, in 1984, he received a permit to build a helipad. Neighbors filed numerous noise complaints against Vinci, according to a 1989 article in the Los Angeles Times.

Angered by these complaints and stricter SANDAG regulations for helipads, Vinci criticized his neighbors and denied that the helicopter was too loud.

"We got railroaded, period," he is quoted as saying in the Times article. "The wives of a lot of these Rancho Santa Fe types play bridge with people on the board of supervisors. You fill in the blanks."

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