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Witness to murder of Marist College dad Paul Kutz reveals chilling details in $50 million hotel lawsuit

A Long Island woman who witnessed the fatal shooting last month of Marist College father Paul Kutz at a Poughkeepsie Marriott is suing the hotel for $50million – as she reveals chilling new details about the massacre.

Suffolk County’s Tina Martirano said in her trial that she shared her morning coffee with Kutz, whom she and his wife met at the hotel gym, just before his October 2 murder.

Martirano, also a Marist parent present for the school’s family weekend, said hotel workers laughed at the erratic behavior of the accused killer – and then the abandoned guests – moments before the suspect opened fire, according to his lawsuit.

“During [her and Kutz’s] conversation, Tina noticed a commotion in the lobby,” says the court document, which claims Martirano suffered “extreme emotional distress” from the ordeal.

“Respondent [Roy] Johnson suddenly emerged from the hallway leading to the first floor bedrooms with both hands deep in his pockets, wearing only underwear under his trench coat, a ski mask and shouting profanity.

Martirano said Johnson “then wandered the lobby, interacting with Marriott staff, all of whom seemed to know him and laughed at the visibly erratic behavior.

Paul Kutz was fatally shot at the Courtyard by Marriott in Poughkeepsie on October 2.

“Unlike the Marriott staff, Tina and Paul were alarmed by the behavior of Defendant Johnson, and Tina signaled several Marriott staff to stop making fun of Johnson,” the lawsuit states. “Moments later, the defendant Johnson pulled out a gun and began to wave it in the air while shouting furiously.

“Afterwards, everyone in the lobby, including Marriott staff, fled for security reasons, leaving Tina and Paul behind.”

She said she and Kutz, 53, were ‘trapped’ between the exit doors and where they were seated as Johnson approached the couple waving his gun – and warned her acquaintance not to talk to the suspect or even look him in the eye.

“Tina was concerned that if Paul made verbal contact with Defendant Johnson he would start shooting, 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.”

Paul Kutz and his wife
Paul Kutz, 53, was visiting his son at Marist College when he was shot and killed.
Facebook/Chris Capalbo

Martirano said in her costume that she saw Kutz fall out of her chair and die.

Kutz was an accountant in East Northport, LI, and married with three children. He was wearing a Marist College t-shirt when he was killed.

Authorities only said Johnson opened fire after arguing with hotel staff.

Police have since charged Johnson, 35, along with his accused sidekick Devin Taylor, who cops say got rid of the weapon.

Martirano said in his lawsuit that the whole incident left him with “disabling” psychological damage.

Roy Johnson, 35.
Roy Johnson, 35, is charged with murder in the death of Paul Kutz.
Robert Miller
Devon Taylor
Devon Taylor is accused of disposing of the gun Johnson allegedly used.
Robert Miller

“She is unable to cope, to function as a member of society, or to return to her workplace,” her lawsuit said.

She alleged that the defendants failed to provide “reasonably adequate” security for guests, among others.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, names the hotel as well as the owners, the site management company and the two defendants in the shooting.

Johnson and Taylor both pleaded not guilty in their arraignments last month.

New York Post

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