YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: For the second time in three months, a judge this morning refused to lower the $2 million bail for a Hackensack man charged with beating his wife to death.
Thomas Fabbricatore, 64, “was at the scene of the crime and was basically caught red-handed,” Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi said.
“There is a very strong likelihood of conviction.”
Defense attorney Frank Lucianna called the bail figure unreasonable.
“It will take all of the spirit out of my client and make him unable to participate in his defense,” he said.
“The outside possible conviction is manslaughter,” which make Fabrricatore’s bail excessive under state Administrative Office of the Courts guidelines, Lucianna contended.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer disagreed, and said the bail fits for several reasons.
For one, she said, Fabbricatore “habitually stalked his wife” and was seen last March “dragging her across the yard by the hair.”
He also beat her several times and threatened to kill not only her but her mother and goddaughter if she told anyone, Grootenboer said — adding that her office is aggressively pursuing charges of murder, not manslaughter.
The prosecutor also called Fabbricatore a flight risk.
The judge agreed.
Besides being a heroin addict, Fabbricatore has no record of employment, has a history of domestic violence and cannot use his and his dead wife’s home for collateral.
He’s “unlikely to abide by any of the rules of bail,” DeAvila-Silebi said.
Hackensack police said they went to the Fabbricatore residence Nov. 12 on an anonymous “welfare check” and found 58-year-old Elizabeth Fabbricatore unconscious and bleeding from a head wound.
Elizabeth Fabbricatore, who worked for North Jersey Media Group (which publishes the Bergen Record), later underwent surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center before dying days later.
Fabbricatore was initially charged with aggravated assault and ordered held on the $2 million bail. The charges were upgraded to murder after his wife died.
He contends that she fell and hit her head as they were pushing one another during an argument.