Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
New Jersey

Suspended NJ Officer Ruled Competent to Stand Trial in Rage-Fueled Slaying of Wife

Lt. John Formisano, a 24-year veteran, previously said he "blacked out" but remembered firing his gun multiple times at his wife and the boyfriend

A suspended New Jersey police lieutenant has been ruled competent to stand trial on murder and other charges in the slaying of his estranged wife and the wounding of her boyfriend last summer.

Lt. John Formisano, 49, pleaded not guilty Monday to the charges in Superior Court in Morris County following the competency ruling.

Formisano, a 24-year veteran of the Newark police department, is charged in the death of 37-year-old Christine Solaro-Formisano, whose body was found July 14 on the porch of her Jefferson Township home. A 40-year-old man was found inside with multiple gunshot wounds.

Formisano was arrested hours later in a parking lot in Livingston, about 25 miles away. Authorities allege that he told investigators he was dropping off something for one of his children and "blacked out" when he saw a man in her bedroom.

Formisano is charged with murder, attempted murder and endangering the welfare of two children who were in the house at the time.

Morris County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Chris Schellhorn told the court he planned to offer a plea deal before the next scheduled hearing. No details were provided. Defense attorney Anthony Iacullo said he and his client would entertain whatever deal was offered.

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