A New Jersey cop who chased his wife down and shot her to death in the middle of the street in front of shocked neighbors has not spent a moment in jail for his crime even though it’s been four months.
Instead, Newark Police Lieutenant John Formisano was transported to the psychiatric unit of a local hospital after telling arresting cops he had “blacked out” when he opened fire, killing his estranged wife and wounding her new boyfriend.
The 49-year-old cop has remained at the hospital ever since while his attorney says he is undergoing “psychological treatment and observation.”
“When and if he is well enough to appear in court, he will do so at that time,” attorney Anthony J. Iacullo told local media.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered the 24-year veteran of the Newark Police Department to be evaluated in order to determine if he is competent to stand trial for the shooting death that took place on July 14.
According to NorthJersey.com:
Formisano, a 24-year veteran of the Newark police force, will be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist with the state Department of Human Services within 30 days. If he is found incompetent, the prosecution could ask the judge to compel Formisano to take medication or take other steps to become competent, said Christopher Schellhorn, an assistant Morris County prosecutor.
Formisano did not speak in court on Wednesday. He has been in psychiatric care since the day after the July 14 shooting, first at the psychiatric unit of St. Clare’s Health in Boonton Township and now at the Ann Klein Forensic Center, a 200-bed facility in Trenton.
Prosecutors allege Formisano killed Christie Solaro-Formisano, 37, and shot her 40-year-old boyfriend after stopping at his wife’s house to drop off glasses for one of their two children. Formisano told police he “blacked out” when he realized his wife had a male guest, according to court documents.
Court documents show that Formisano filed for divorce after nine years of marriage on June 7 due to “irreconcilable differences.” He has been charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of his two children, who were in the house at the time.
If Formisano manages to convince doctors he is incompetent to stand trial for the murder of Christie Solaro-Formisano, then the criminal charges will be dropped.
If anything, he is at least hoping to get the murder charge reduced to manslaughter by arguing it was a crime of passion which comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years in New Jersey.