NJ Man Gets Life in Prison for Pushing Wife off Cliffs in Palisades Interstate Park

Stephen Scharf claimed his wife accidentally fell from Rockefeller Lookout

Saturday, Oct 22, 2011  |  Updated 12:25 PM EDT
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NJ Man Gets Life for Pushing Wife Off Cliff

Jail cell

A man convicted of pushing his wife to her death off a 120-foot cliff in northern New Jersey nearly 20 years ago has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Bergen County jury had found Stephen Scharf guilty of murder in May. But the 60-year-old Hackettstown resident continued to maintain his innocence when he was sentenced Friday.

Scharf claims his wife accidentally fell from Rockefeller Lookout in Palisades Interstate Park in Englewood Cliffs on Sept. 20, 1992. She had filed for divorce two weeks before her death. Scharf was arrested three years ago after county prosecutors reopened their investigation.

Scharf's attorney asked that he receive the minimum sentence — 30 years in prison. But several people — including Scharf's son — asked the judge to impose the stiffer sentence.

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