Prosecutors want a psychiatric evaluation of the Newark cop accused of killing his wife in a shooting in Jefferson in July, to determine his mental competency to stand trial.
The defendant, John Formisano, a 24-year veteran of the Newark force, appeared in state Superior Court in Morristown last week for the first time since the alleged killing on July 14. He did not speak during the five-minute hearing.
“He’s receiving the treatment that he needs at this time, and we’re hopeful that someday he will be able to really return to the person that he was before this incident,” Anthony Iacullo, Formisano’s attorney, said outside the courtroom.
Christopher Schellhorn, a Morris County prosecutor, said he anticipates filing a request for a mental competency evaluation shortly.
“There’s reason for the court, the parties to believe competency may be an issue,” Schellhorn said.
Judge David Ironson gave the Prosecutor’s Office a deadline of January for indictment, allowing prosecutors extra time to present the case to the grand jury.
Formisano is accused of killing his estranged wife Christie Solaro-Formisano, 37, and shooting her 40-year-old boyfriend after going to Solaro-Formisano’s residence to bring eyeglasses for one of their two children. Formisano said he “blacked out” upon realizing she had a male guest in the home.
Police say Formisano broke into Solaro-Formisano’s bedroom and fired shots, hitting the man in the abdomen, thigh and arms. Both of the Formisanos’ children were in the residence at the time.
Solaro-Formisano ran to neighbors’ houses for help and was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds on a neighbor’s porch steps, court documents say.
Police arrested Formisano hours later in Livingston, some 30 miles from the crime scene. He has been charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of his two children. Formisano pleaded not guilty at a hearing in August, appearing in court via a live video feed.