A Newark police lieutenant has been convicted of murdering his estranged wife, as well as trying to kill her new boyfriend, more than three years ago.

On Monday, John Formisano was found guilty by a Morris County Superior Court jury after an eight-day trial and roughly two days of deliberations, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll confirmed late on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old Formisano had repeatedly rejected plea deal offers of 40 years in prison, as reported by NJ.com, and now faces up to life in prison when sentenced.

Formisano has remained suspended from the police force without pay, since July 2019.

In light of his conviction, Newark would be formalizing his termination, an attorney for the city confirmed to New Jersey 101.5, saying it was “a process which is not instantaneous.”

Newark Lt. John Formisano convicted of murdering wife, Christie Solaro Formisano (Christie Solaro Formisano FacebookCBS NY via Youtube)
Newark Lt. John Formisano convicted of murdering wife, Christie Solaro Formisano (Christie Solaro Formisano Facebook/CBS NY via Youtube)

Christie Solaro-Formisano, a 37-year-old mother of two young children, died on a neighbor's front steps around 11:30 p.m. on July 14, 2019.

She had already been shot by Formisano and had run from her home at 1 Mirror Lane in Jefferson for help, according to prosecutors, but was shot again and killed two houses away.

Formisano was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Timothy Simonson — who was shot multiple times in the home’s master bedroom. The off-duty police officer used his service weapon to fire at least 15 shots at the couple, prosecutors said during the trial.

Both of the Formisano’s young children were found, physically unharmed, in the house by responding officers.

Simonson testified that he had only been dating the victim for about a month when her ex showed up and opened fire, as previously reported by the Daily Record.

Formisano had fled the scene and was found around 2 a.m. the following morning, in Livingston. His gun was recovered from the trunk of his vehicle.

He was also found guilty on Monday of two unlawful weapons possession offenses, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count each of hindering apprehension and official misconduct.

A sentencing date was still to be set by the court —Formisano would remain in custody until that time.

The following morning, neighbors said that the gunshots had sounded like fireworks, as reported by CBS New York.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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