An ex-New Jersey security guard was sentenced to 50 years behind bars for lethally stabbing his ex-wife 84 times and then covering her face with a pig mask.
Anthony Novellino, 66, was found guilty in July of the fatal knife attack on his ex-wife in their New Jersey home some 11 days after their divorce in 2010.
The prosecution said that Novellino was angry that his wife had been awarded half of his retirement fund as part of the divorce settlement, and seemed unable to control his anger.
Novellino eluded authorities for some time and was captured several days after the killing in Washington state. He faced a maximum penalty of 50 years, and was convicted of murder, evidence tampering, hindering, and two weapons charges.
Under the conditions of the divorce, Novellino had to pay his ex-wife Judith the share due to her, plus an additional $150,000 from his retirement fund. This led to him referring to her as a “pig” to neighbors, which gives some clue as to why perhaps he covered her face with the pig mask after brutally murdering her.
Novellino claimed all along that his ex-wife had started a fight when she lunged at him with a knife she happened to have in the bathroom.
Insisting that he only acted in self-defense, he told investigators after he was arrested that he could only recall stabbing her twice. However, the autopsy revealed that she had in fact been stabbed 84 times on her face, neck, shoulder, abdomen, hands, and breasts.
Apparently, after the attack was over, he grabbed a pig mask out of a closet and put it on her face before drinking orange juice and taking some aspirin. He then washed the knife and hid it in a small basement.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, he then took off his shoes, gathered some fresh clothes, and dumped his bloodied garments as he drove to Washington to meet a woman he had been in contact with online for several years. It was with her help that the authorities were able to track him down.
The couple’s 35-year-old daughter, Christina German, found her mother’s body. As her father was led into the courtroom for the verdict on Wednesday, Ms. German was seen closing her eyes.
Defense lawyer Michael Priarone said, “The murder was magnified by the pig mask. It’s difficult for anyone dealing with the case to look past the mask. Mr. Novellino absolutely has a lot of remorse for what happened.”