Former Newark Police Lt. indicted in fatal shooting of wife

Jefferson. On Dec. 30, 2019, a Morris County grand jury indicted John Formisano, 49, charging the former Newark Police Lt. with first degree murder, first degree attempted murder, two counts of second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second degree official misconduct, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and third degree hindering apprehension or prosecution. The charges stem from the fatal shooting of his estranged wife and the wounding of another man in July 2019.

Newark /
08 Jan 2020 | 11:44

Former Newark Police Lt. John Formisano, 49, of Jefferson, was indicted Dec. 30, 2019 on charges related to the fatal shooting of his estranged wife Christine Solaro, 37, and the wounding of another man in July 2019.

A Morris County grand jury returned an indictment charging Formisano with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree official misconduct, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution.

The charges are related to an incident that occurred the night of July 14, 2019, at the Formisano home, located at 1 Mirror Place in Jefferson Township. At approximately 11:21 p.m., members of the Jefferson Township Police Department responded to a report of shots fired.

Formisano told police he “blacked out” after he entered his home and suspected that his estranged wife had a male guest in the bedroom, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

He said he did remember firing his weapon multiple times at both Christine and the male guest, who has not been identified by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Christine Solaro’s body was found on the front porch steps of 5 Mirror Place by first responders, with gunshot wounds to the abdomen, arm, leg, hand and head.

Identified in the affidavit only by his initials, Solaro’s male guest T.S. said Formisano broke the bedroom door and fired a handgun in his direction numerous times, hitting him in the thigh, hand, arms and abdomen.

Formisano was found at 2 a.m. on July 15 in a parking lot in Livingston and was taken into custody by police there. His vehicle was also recovered, as well as a handgun in the trunk, according to the affidavit.

At the time of his arrest, he told police he and Christine were in the process of getting divorced.

At the time of the incident, Newark Police Public Information Supervisor Mark S. Di Ionno said Formisano was a 24-year veteran of the department, who was promoted to acting lieutenant from the rank of sergeant.