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Murder suspect free on bond: ‘I want to get...
Murder suspect free on bond: ‘I want to get back to’ my children
April 27, 2013
By Jeff Eckhoff
Des Moines Register
A man charged with murdering his wife in Boone last year walked free from jail this morning after a judge lowered his bail to $500,000 cash or surety.
Alexander Fazzino, 39, was arrested two weeks ago on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the January 2012 death of his wife, Emily Fazzino.
Alex Fazzino was released at roughly 11:30 a.m. and planned to return to his parents’ home in Missouri “as soon as possible.”
“I would just like to thank my family, and especially my parents, for all their support,” an emotional Fazzino said during an extremely limited afternoon interview in his lawyer’s office. “I’ve been away from my children too long, and I want to get back to them.”
Police found a cold-to-the-touch Emily, 32, on the bathroom floor of the couple’s home on Jan. 29, 2012. Officers noted that they saw unexplained bruising on her forehead and neck.
Alex Fazzino has told police he was downstairs with the couple’s three children while his wife was taking a bath when he heard water running. He said he discovered her unresponsive in the tub. An autopsy revealed no signs of drug abuse, although the husband and his relatives since have repeatedly described Emily’s addiction to prescription painkillers.
Fazzino, who was arrested in Lee’s Summit, Mo. earlier this month, had been held until today on a $1.5 million cash-only bail that District Judge Michael Moon has now deemed to be too high.
Relatives testified at a bond review hearing last week that Fazzino moved to Missouri in February 2012 to be closer to his relatives. Fazzino lived with his parents at the time of his arrest and worked for his father, who owns a convenience store. He now will return to that job.
“Defendant has no record of convictions, and there is no showing that he has failed to pay any fine, surcharge or court costs,” Judge Moon writes in an order issued late Wednesday. “There is no evidence that he has fled the state of Iowa to avoid prosecution or failed to appear at any court hearing. There is no showing in the record that defendant, if released, would be a danger to anyone.”
Moon adds that “while there is no evidence in the record from which it can be fairly concluded that defendant is a flight risk, the severity of the penalty (for first-degree murder) must be factored into consideration in terms of release.
“Weighing all of these factors, the court believes that the current conditions of release are excessive,” the judge ruled.
Moon’s order contains no restrictions on Fazzino’s ability to travel and no requirement that he be electronically monitored.
Defense attorney Bill Kutmus called “a very well-balanced opinion” that gives Fazzino credit for “his stellar past.”
Fazzino faces life in prison without parole if he’s convicted of the murder charge.
No trial date has yet been set.
City Council Action Letter, Thursday, December 10, 2015