A Newark police officer accused of killing his wife and endangering the welfare of the couple’s two children will make his first appearance in Morris County Superior Court on Wednesday, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Jefferson resident Lt. John Formisano will make his first appearance via video Wednesday afternoon before Judge David Ironson. He is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Christine Solaro Formisano, to death on a neighbor’s front porch near the couple’s Oak Ridge home on July 14.

It has been more than six weeks since Formisano was arrested in Livingston near his parents’ home. Under New Jersey’s new bail reform laws, most defendants must appear in front of a judge within a few days of arrest for a pretrial detention hearing to decide if they should stay in jail or be released ahead of a trial. However, Formisano’s attorney said that that he was being held in a psychiatric facility in Boonton. An affidavit of probable cause says Formisano displayed suicidal tendencies the night he was arrested.

“The defense greatly appreciates the efforts of the facility where John is receiving treatment and the court to allow John to appear via video screen. While this is only an initial appearance on the charges and John has advised his doctors that he was up to proceeding in such fashion, there are always concerns about the effect this may have on his treatment he has already received,” Formisano’s lawyer, Anthony Iacullo, said in a statement to NJ.com.

Keep Your Eyes on Your Mailbox!

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST monthly print magazine will begin direct mailing to you with the December issue. Read more on this >>

Never miss a headline!

Sign up to have The Jefferson Chronicle emails/breaking alerts and DIGEST magazine (digital "flip book" edition) sent free to your inbox. Subscribe >>

The September DIGEST magazine, available online now!

Missed the The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST magazine in print? It is available as a digital "flip book". Read the latest issue >>