Witness to murder of Marist College dad Paul Kutz reveals chilling details in $50M suit against hotel
A Long Island woman who witnessed last month’s fatal shooting of Marist College dad Paul Kutz at a Poughkeepsie Marriott is suing the hotel for $50 million — as she revealed chilling new details about the slaughter.
Tina Martirano of Suffolk County said in her lawsuit that she was sharing her morning coffee with Kutz, who she had met with his wife at the hotel gym, right before his Oct. 2 murder.
Martirano, also a Marist parent there for the school’s Family Weekend, said hotel workers laughed at the accused killer’s erratic behavior — and then abandoned guests — moments before the suspect opened fire, according to her suit.
“During [her and Kutz’s] conversation, Tina noticed a commotion in the lobby,” said the court document, which claims Martirano suffered “extreme emotional distress” from the ordeal.
“Defendant [Roy] Johnson suddenly emerged from the corridor leading to the first-floor rooms with both hands deep into his pockets, wearing only underpants under his trench coat, a ski mask and was shouting profanities.”
Martirano said Johnson “then proceeded to roam around the lobby, interacting with Marriott personnel, all of whom appeared to know him and laugh off the visibly erratic behavior.
“Unlike Marriott personnel, Tina and Paul were alarmed by Defendant Johnson’s behavior, and Tina motioned to several Marriott personnel to stop laughing at Johnson,” the suit said. “Moments later, Defendant Johnson pulled out a gun and began waving it in the air while shouting furiously.
“Thereafter, everyone in the lobby, including Marriott personnel, fled for safety, leaving Tina and Paul behind.”
She said she and Kutz, 53, were “trapped” between the exit doors and where they were sitting as Johnson walked up to the pair waving his gun — and that she warned her acquaintance not to talk to the suspect or even look him in the eyes.
“Tina feared that if Paul made verbal contact with Defendant Johnson he would start firing, so she told Paul to avoid eye contact,” the lawsuit said. “Defendant Johnson then raised his arm, brandished the gun, and before Paul could even attempt to calm him down, Johnson opened fire on Paul.”
Martirano said in her suit that she watched Kutz fall from his chair and die.
Kutz was an accountant from East Northport, LI, and married dad of three. He was wearing a Marist College t-shirt when killed.
Authorities have only said Johnson opened fire after getting into an argument with hotel staff.
Police have since charged Johnson, 35, as well as his accused cohort, Devin Taylor, who cops said got rid of the gun.
Martirano said in her suit that the entire incident left her with “disabling” psychological damage.
“She is unable to cope, function as a member of society, or return to her place of employment,” her suit said.
She alleged that the defendants failed to provide “reasonably adequate” security for guests, among other things.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, names the hotel as well as the property owners, the management company at the site and the two defendants in the shooting.
Johnson and Taylor both pleaded not guilty at their arraignments last month.