A Newark police lieutenant accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife and wounding her boyfriend appeared Monday in court, where videos of his arrest and confession to the crime were shown for the first time.
Lt. John Formisano, 49, allegedly wounded Christine Solaro-Formisano in her Jefferson, New Jersey, home in July 2019 — and then followed the fleeing woman to a neighbor’s front porch to finish her off.
He also allegedly shot and wounded her beau, who has only been identified as a 40-year-old with the initials T.S.
Formisano was charged with murder, attempted murder and endangering the welfare of their two children, who were in the home but were not harmed physically.
He has turned down a 40-year plea deal, NJ.com reported.
The veteran officer appeared Monday in Superior Court in Morris County, where police dashcam footage of his arrest and a video of his interrogation were played at the hearing, according to the news outlet.
At the heart of the hearing was whether he was properly read his Miranda rights during his arrest — and whether the statements he made to investigators will be admissible as evidence during a trial.
Prosecutors say Formisano understood what he was doing when he spoke, while his defense says key questions were posed before he was read his rights, according to the news outlet.
In the first video, Formisano is seen stepping out of his car, wearing an unbuttoned Yankees jersey over a white T-shirt. With his hands up, police quickly arrest him after ordering him to turn around.
“I’m gonna Mirandize him real quick,” Livingston police officer Ed Kelly says in the clip.
“Yeah, if he asks you what’s going on, say, ‘We’re not even sure. We’ll let you know in a few minutes,’” another cop says, but Kelly does not read Formisano his Miranda rights at this point.
Later in the footage, Formisano tells the officers: “Sorry to put you guys through this, I don’t know if you know what happened or not.”
Kelly says: “Yeah. We know what happened. I think that’s why you know why you’re in handcuffs right now.”
Formisano tells them: “Like I said, I wouldn’t hurt any of you guys. That’s why I pulled right over.”
Kelly then asks Formisano if he had been at work that day.
“Yeah, I went home from work and I came home and found my wife in bed with another guy,” Formisano asnwers.
“OK, is the gun that you used in the car?” Kelly says.
“It’s in the trunk,” Formisano replies.
Formisano then asks for them to adjust his handcuffs because they were hurting his wrists. An officer then says he needs to search the suspect again as he adjusts the cuffs.
”You gonna read them?” the other cop asks Kelly, apparently referring to the Miranda rights.
“No, I think the prosecutor’s office is going to do it,” Kelly answers.
Once Kelly notifies police headquarters that he is bringing Formisano in, he reads him his rights.
“Mm-hm,” Formisano responds once advised of his rights.
The second video shows Formisano wrapped in an emergency blanket inside a Jefferson Township Police Department interrogation room, where he is read his rights and asked to sign a paper that he understands them.
“OK, having these rights in mind, do you wish to speak with us now?” an officer asks Formisano.
“I want to, but it’s not in my best interest,” Formisano answers before allegedly confessing to killing his estranged wife, according to NJ.com.
A decision is expected in mid-July on whether the footage will be admissible, according to the outlet.
Formisano was later transferred to a psychiatric facility and spent nine months in the hospital before being transferred to the Morris County Correctional Facility.
He was found competent to stand trial last year.