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Man accused of killing boss with saw claims self defense

Man accused of killing boss with saw claims self defense

By Drew Karedes. CREATED Nov 29, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - The maintenance man accused of killing his boss with a saw and stuffing his body in a box says he is not to blame.

Anthony Stiger spoke exclusively to Action News from behind bars on Tuesday.

Stiger and his wife, Melanie Costantini, were nabbed on November 14th by the feds in California.

They're charged with killing the owner of a local apartment complex with a saw and leaving his body in a garment sized U-Haul box.

From behind bars, Anthony Stiger said he and wife are not cold blooded killers. Rather he claims they are a young, naive couple who got manipulated.

What Stiger is saying is not substantiated by investigators, but it is something he plans to take to the courtroom with his attorrney.

Stiger claims that the killing of his boss and landlord, Harold Shilberg, was a result of self defense.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I take full responsibility for it, because he's a grown man just like I am," said suspect Anthony Stiger.

Stiger, who had moved with his wife from Houston to Las Vegas in August, was working as a maintenance man at the Newport Apartments.

The 20-year-old is claiming that, on November 9th, Harold Shilberg came at him with a saw inside his apartment.

"When he grabbed the saw, I grabbed it back. I got the opposite end of the saw," claimed Stiger. "I grabbed the saw and basically was fighting for my life in the sense of trying to get him not to cut me."

Stiger claims the tussle ensued in the bathroom of apartment 208. He claims that the electric saw sliced through Shilberg's neck, leaving him dead in the bathtub.

KTNV reporter Drew Karedes asked, "Why did you run? If this was self defense, why did you leave the state?"

"It wasn't about running. The only reason why I left was because my grandmother assured me that she had already called the police, they were on their way and everything was fine," Stiger replied.

Stiger's grandparents manage the apartment complex, and he's making some strong accusations against them.

He claims that Willa and Alex Herman instructed him to get his 2-year-old daughter away from the gruesome scene. He alleges that the two did not call police, but instead began tampering with evidence.

Stiger claims he's convinced that the Hermans placed Shilberg's body in the box and moved it to the bottom of a stairwell.

"Anthony is a liar. He is an absolute liar. In fact, I did not have knowledge until the police knocked on my door and tolds me there was a body on a premesis," said Willa Herman.

The Hermans say that their grandson never told them anything about Shilberg's killing.

The 58-year-old's body sat in the box for hours, out in the open on the complex property. It was a resident who eventually saw what was inside and called police.

"Had we had any knowledge of what he had done, we would've been the first to turn his butt in," said Alex Herman.

Anthony Stiger claims if he could do things differently, he would've contacted the authorities himself.

"I feel the responsibility, as far as the situation blowing up, is 100 percent on the shoulders of my grandmother and Alex because as far as I'm concerned, me and my wife did nothing wrong," Stiger insisted.

Stiger says he was en route to California to drop off his 2-year-old daughter with family. He says that little girl is now in the custody of his mother there.

Police have not speculated on a motive in this case.

The Hermans believe their grandson may have been disgruntled over what he was being paid.

Anthony Stiger claims Harold Shilberg got angry because he was in dire financial straits and did not want to make necessary repairs at the complex.