In August of this year, a New Jersey man incarcerated for the murder of his wife for over three years, was released from a Sussex County jail after prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against him. This man languished in jail for nearly four years and was never tried for his alleged crime.
In 2009, Valentino Ianetti of Stanhope, New Jersey, called 911 to report he had found his wife Patricia on the bedroom floor with multiple stab wounds. Tragically by the time police arrived on the scene, Patricia, who had been stabbed forty-seven times, was dead.
Mr. Ianetti, who was taken to police headquarters and questioned for twenty hours, told investigators that his wife suffered from depression and had stabbed herself. However, because Ianetti had blood on his hands and, according to the arresting affidavit, “smelled as though he had just showered or washed,” was arrested and charged with murdering his wife.
Dr. Junaid Shaikh, the Sussex County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Patricia Ianetti, determined Patricia died as a result of multiple wounds to the thorax and neck, with “the most significant wounds puncturing her liver, lung and heart.” The autopsy concluded that Patricia’s death was a homicide and according to police, her husband was the perpetrator of that crime.
While Ianetti sat in jail, his defense team strove to prove his innocence. In May of this year, a forensic pathologist hired by the defense team, presented evidence that challenged the manner of Patricia’s death. According to the forensic pathologist’s report, Patricia Ianetti had taken between twenty and forty Oxycodone pills, more than enough to end her life. The report indicated that because of the amount of Oxycodone in her body, Ianetti’s wife “probably wasn’t feeling the stab wounds” she inflicted upon herself.
The outside medical examiner hired by Ianetti’s defense attorneys concluded that Patricia Ianetti committed suicide.
When Ianetti’s defense team presented Sussex County prosecutors with their experts’ reports, prosecutors consulted with a forensic pathologist, a toxicologist and a crime scene expert, and after receiving their assessments, filed a motion to dismiss murder charges against Valentino Ianetti.
One may ask, “Why was Ianetti left to languish in jail for nearly four years without a trial?”
According to Sussex County Prosecutor Gregory Mueller, two reasons kept Ianetti in jail; the backlog of cases in the county, and a judge’s refusal to lower Ianetti’s bail.
Valentino Ianetti’s case emphasizes the importance of having an aggressive, knowledgeable defense team on your side when charged with a serious crime. An experienced, competent criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and will passionately and aggressively fight against your charges and work towards the optimum solution in your criminal case.