HACKENSACK, New Jersey — A northern New Jersey man accused of fatally beating his wife during a domestic dispute last year has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge.
The Record (http://bit.ly/1q16s3F) reports that the indictment recently handed up by a Bergen County grand jury also charges 65-year-old Thomas Fabbricatore with a weapons offense and hindering his prosecution by providing false information. The Hackensack resident remains jailed on $2 million bail and could face a life sentence if convicted
Fabbricatore initially was charged with attempted murder in the case. But the charge was upgraded after his 58-year-old wife, Beth, died from her injuries six days later.
Thomas Fabbricatore's lawyer, Frank Lucianna, has said his client didn't intend to hurt his wife, claiming she accidentally fell down a flight of stairs and hit her head when they pushed each other during a "domestic spat" on Nov. 12.
Authorities responded to the couple's home that day after receiving an anonymous tip. They said Thomas Fabbricatore told them there was nothing wrong, but police found his wife on the floor with grave injuries.
In February, Lucianna had unsuccessfully sought to have his client's bail lowered, claiming the amount was excessive. He also noted his client has no prior criminal record and said his strong ties to Bergen County make it unlikely that he would flee to avoid prosecution.
The judge denied the request, citing Fabbricatore's long history of domestic violence against his wife and other issues.
Bergen County prosecutors have said the defense is downplaying the incident.
Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, New Jersey), http://www.northjersey.com