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Press Release

Husband And Wife Charged In Connection With The Murder Of The Wife’s Ex-Husband

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll,  the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Steven A. Nigrelli, the Acting Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced today the arrest of NICHOLAS ORSINI and JAMIE ORSINI, who were each charged in a Complaint with one count of carjacking resulting in death and one count of conspiracy, each related to the 2020 murder of JAMIE ORSINI’s ex-husband, Steven Kraft.  The ORSINIs will be presented in federal court later today.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “A little over three years ago, Nicholas and Jamie Orsini allegedly plotted to and did kill Jamie’s ex-husband, Steven Kraft.  Their alleged scheme was sophisticated — it involved burner phones, stealing and dumping Kraft’s car, and, ultimately, disposing of Kraft’s body.  In doing so, the Orsinis denied Kraft’s family — including Kraft’s children with Jamie — the dignity of having a proper burial.  This complaint shows that no matter how well you cover up your heinous act, law enforcement will not relent until they have uncovered your crimes.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “The charges today allege that the defendants planned, practiced, and carried out a heinous series of actions in an attempt to get away with murdering Steven Kraft.  This complaint today demonstrates our continued commitment to the community – the FBI will ensure those involved in such horrendous violence are held responsible in the criminal justice system.”

NYSP Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said: “I commend our State Police members and our partners with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their tireless efforts to find justice for the grieving loved ones of Mr. Kraft.  These two murderous individuals allegedly deliberately took the life of another person and will now be held accountable for their actions.  State Police and our partners will continue to work together to keep our communities safe and make sure those who commit senseless, violent acts are placed behind bars.”

According to the allegations made in the Complaint:[1]

In 2020, JAMIE ORSINI and NICHOLAS ORSINI planned to, and did, murder Steven Kraft — who was JAMIE ORSINI’s ex-husband and the father of two children with her — take and get rid of Kraft’s car, and dispose of Kraft’s body, covering their tracks.

During the days leading up to April 28, 2020, the ORSINIs began preparing to murder Steven Kraft at their home in Beacon, New York, and to cover up that murder.  Among other things, they purchased a 10x100 foot paint tarp, duct tape, a Tyvek suit and boots, and a “burner phone,” all paid for in cash.  They also drove from their home in Beacon, New York, to a location in the City of Newburgh, New York, in what would be a “dry run” for how they ultimately got rid of Kraft’s car.  On April 28, 2020, the ORSINIs carjacked and murdered Kraft.  That afternoon, Kraft picked up his children from the ORSINIs’ home in Beacon.  The ORSINIs followed Kraft and activated their burner phone before returning home.  Kraft brought his children back to the ORSINIs’ at approximately 7:00 p.m.; he was never seen again.  After falsely telling a co-worker that he was not coming to work because his wife’s car broke down, NICHOLAS ORSINI drove Kraft’s car along the same circuitous route the pair travelled in their dry run the day before from their home in Beacon to the same location in Newburgh.

After leaving Kraft’s car on the street, NICHOLAS ORSINI walked over a mile to a gas station.  He used the burner phone to call a taxi to take him home and then threw out the burner phone.

In the days after the murder and carjacking, the ORSINIs continued to cover up their crimes.  Among other things, they bought a new burner phone (changing the number on it at least once), drove repeatedly to and from Amsterdam, New York — where NICHOLAS ORSINI had family — which is more than 120 miles north of Beacon, staying for no more than a few hours before returning to Beacon, and purchased equipment that can be used to chop up and burn a body.

In particular, on April 29, 2020, NICHOLAS ORSINI — who, like JAMIE ORSINI, left his own phone at home in Beacon — purchased a new burner phone and then drove approximately two-and-a-half hours to Amsterdam either by himself or with JAMIE ORSINI, stayed for less than three hours, and then drove back to Beacon.  The next day, on April 30, 2020, NICHOLAS ORSINI used his phone to search for “How to view your location history in google maps.”  On May 1, 2020, the ORSINIs again drove to and from Amsterdam, again leaving their personal phones behind but using their burner phone.  Later that day, the ORSINIs changed the phone number of their burner phone in an apparent attempt to hide their tracks.

The next day, NICHOLAS ORSINI used his phone to search for “Orange County News” (the City of Newburgh is in Orange County) and “Montgomery County News” (Amsterdam is in Montgomery County).  At about the same time that he was conducting those searches, NICHOLAS ORSINI texted his mother: “Who did u tell I was coming up.”  He then went to a Home Depot and a Walmart before using Google to search for “is galvanized steel fireproof.”  Not long thereafter, NICHOLAS ORSINI returned to the Home Depot and purchased two 31-gallon galvanized steel round trash cans, a coarse stainless-steel rod, an angle grinder with grinding wheel, five metal disks, three 32-ounce bottles of odorless charcoal grates, an axe, and a flame lighter.  The next morning, he returned to the Home Depot to purchase 16 bundles of firewood.

*                *                *

NICHOLAS ORSINI, 35, and JAIME ORSINI, 36, both of Amsterdam, New York, are each charged with one count of carjacking resulting in death, which carries a maximum potential sentence of life in prison or death, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the NYSP and the FBI for their outstanding work on the investigation.  Mr. Williams also thanked the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaiya Arroyo and Michael D. Maimin are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-218