A husband accused of stabbing his wife 47 times has been released from jail after spending three years awaiting a trial.
Valentino Ianetti, 63, was released from the Sussex County jail after the prosecutor’s office, unable to prove its case, requested that all criminal charges be dismissed.
Mr Ianetti was accused of killing his wife of 37 years Pamela Ianetti, 57, at their Stanhope home in 2009.
On the night his wife died according to an arrest affidavit Mr Ianetti called police dispatch to say he had found his wife with multiple wounds in the bedroom on the floor.
Mr Ianetti cooperated with police and had blood on his hands, but smelled as though he had just showered or washed, the affidavit says.
Investigators used a search warrant to recover a long knife covered with blood, according to the affidavit.
From an autopsy, Dr. Junaid Shaikh, a former Sussex County medical examiner, determined the death to be a murder caused by multiple sharp force wounds to the thorax and neck.
‘The most significant knife wounds to the victim punctured her liver in multiple locations, her lung and her heart,’ Sussex County prosecutor Gregory Mueller told said.
But, he said, after the defense presented him with an expert report in May that challenged the manner of Mrs Ianetti’s death, he consulted with a forensic pathologist, a toxicologist and a crime scene expert, and then filed a motion to dismiss the murder charges.
‘Ethically and morally, you cannot prosecute a defendant where you believe a reasonable doubt exists,’ Mr Mueller said.
Public defender Steven Insley, said that all but one of the stab wounds on Pamela Ianetti’s body were found to have been superficial – ‘hesitation wounds’ she inflicted on herself as she worked up the courage to exact a fatal blow.
He also said she had ingested enough oxycodone that she was likely on the way to an overdose, he said.
‘She had taken between 20 and 40 pills. If not for stabbing herself, she might’ve died just from the drugs she had taken,’ said Insley, citing what he said was forensic evidence recently uncovered by his office. “She probably wasn’t feeling the stab wounds.’
Authorities never revealed why they believed Mr Ianetti may have killed his wife, who used to work as a nursing supervisor.
The couple did not have any history of domestic violence, according to police.
Mr Insley said while in jail Mr Ianetti lost a child, a brother and his home in the borough.
He said Mr Ianetti is now living temporariyl with a friend.
‘He was angry because of the time he spent in jail, he was crying, but he was happy to see his friends,’ the lawyer said.
The delay in the case coming to trial was due to a backlog of cases.