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Porn star testimony is crucial

PUBLISHED: 14:58 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 24 August 2010

A MILLIONAIRE property dealer who brutally murdered a gentle caretaker before confessing to his porn star girlfriend is facing years behind bars. Thanos Papalexis, 37, of Palm Beach, Florida, tied up, beat and strangled Charalambos Christodoulides, 57, b

A MILLIONAIRE property dealer who brutally murdered a gentle caretaker before confessing to his porn star girlfriend is facing years behind bars.

Thanos Papalexis, 37, of Palm Beach, Florida, tied up, beat and strangled Charalambos Christodoulides, 57, before dumping his body in a pit in a warehouse in Banister Road, Kensal Rise.

Papalexis, a London born son of a Greek shipping tycoon who hosted former President Bill Clinton at a party, was found guilty of the 2000 killing after a 14-week trial at the Old Bailey concluded on Friday.

Mr Christodoulides lived in the warehouse, which was owned by his brother-in-law, and acted as the caretaker.

When a deal to sell the building to Papalexis was held up due to his refusal to move, the fuming property dealer allegedly got two accomplices and killed Mr Christodoulides before fleeing to the USA.

Cultivating a persona of a millionaire playboy, he quickly became a well-known figure hosting lavish parties before his world came crashing down with his arrest and extradition in 2008.

Papalexis' web of lies was undone by star witness and former girlfriend Rebecca DeFalco who testified in court that her one-time lover admitted to killing a man.

Ms DeFalco, who previously starred in movies such as 'Perverted Stories 14' and 'My First Time 8', flew in from America to give evidence in the trial.

Det Insp Brent Hyatt, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: "Charalambos Christodoulides was a quiet and reserved 57-year-old man of impeccable character who Papalexis thought stood in the way of a property deal. We believe that this is why he was killed.

"Throughout this 14-week trial, Papalexis has proved to be an enormously arrogant, compulsive and practiced liar driven by his desire to make money.

"In the nine years that it has taken to bring Papalexis to justice, all avenues of evidence have been fully explored to ensure that the best possible evidence can be put before the court.

"I hope this verdict goes someway to achieving justice for Charalambos and closure for his family."

Papalexis is due to be sentenced on September 30.

Albanians Ylli Xhelo, 36, of no fixed abode, and Robert Baxhija, 29, face a retrial at an unconfirmed date.


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