UPDATE — A jury has found Alexander Fazzino not guilty in the first-degree murder trial over the death of his wife, Emily Fazzino.
The verdict was read to a courtroom packed with people around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The trial began Feb. 22, but jurors did not get the case until about 1 p.m. Tuesday. They deliberated until just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The jury is made up of of eight men and four women. They could choose between first-degree or second-degree murder, involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, or not guilty of any charges.
Fazzino was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Emily. The 23-year-old was found dead in the bathtub of the couple’s Boone, Iowa home on Jan. 29, 2012.
Local 5’s Claire Powell is in the courtroom covering the story. Tune to Local 5 News at 5 and 6 p.m. for the latest.
DECORAH, Iowa — Closing arguments ended Tuesday morning and jury deliberations began in the Alexander Fazzino trial.
The jury was able to deliberate for three hours Tuesday afternoon before adjourning for the day.
It was standing room only in the courtroom as an estimated 90-100 people listened to attorney closing arguments in the first-degree murder trial of Alexander Fazzino.
Alex Fazzino’s family took up one side of the aisle and Emily Fazzino’s filled the other. Emily’s father, Rick Beckwith, was also in the courtroom Tuesday. Beckwith forewent giving in-person testimony due to heart issues and doctors orders.
Closing arguments began shortly before 9 a.m. after jury instructions were read to the jury.
An animated prosecution started by saying Emily felt scared in the weeks leading up to her death. Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown said, “Alex had nothing to lose but everything to gain by Emily being dead.” Brown sited anger and losing control as motives for killing Emily, in addition to custody of their three children and $250,000 worth of life insurance policies.
The prosecution added Dr. Michele Catellier’s forensic evidence, insisting Emily’s injuries were consistent with strangulation and assault.
Brown also said Emily’s family was aware of her problem and her mother, Cindy Beckwith, tried to help despite keeping it a secret from Emily’s father and the Boone community.