MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was a court hearing Wednesday for the Newark police lieutenant accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, and wounding her male companion.
The lieutenant has been held in a psychiatric facility since the killing last month.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer was in the courtroom with the victim’s family, friends and the man who was shot.
Appearing via video conference next to his lawyer, John Formisano answered questions from the judge. He said he understood the charges against him.
Formisano was not physically in the courtroom, because he’s been receiving psychiatric care ever since his arrest.
His lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf
Formisano is accused of gunning down his estranged wife, 37-year-old Christie Formisano, and shooting her boyfriend.
According to court documents, Formisano, 49, told investigators that on July 14 he entered the home the couple once shared in Jefferson Township, suspected Christie had a male guest in the bedroom and “blacked out.”
Police said Formisano started shooting at the man and Christie, who ran to the homes next door. He allegedly followed still shooting, killing her outside of a neighbor’s house.
“She was an amazing girl. She was. She was the best friend. She was … your person. You always want that one person in your life and she was that person,” Cathleen Coviello-Guida said.
Coviello-Guida, who was in the courtroom Wednesday, said Christie was her best friend and a great mother.
“The best mom a person can be and it’s a shame their kids lost their mom, you know,” Coviello-Guida said.
The couple’s two young children were in the home the night of the alleged shooting, so Formisano is facing not only murder and attempted murder charges but also endangering the welfare of a child.
Formisano is is expected to physically be in court on Oct. 7.