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Thursday, February 20, 2014

[CA] 25 years ago Deputy's wife Joan Scalzo was strong and wanted to live. She tried.


Stolen life: Joan Patricia Scalzo
February 20, 1989

Former Deputy Anthony Michael Scalzo was charged with murder of his wife Joan Patricia Scalzo, and sentenced to only 13 years after the charge was reduced to manslaughter. He shot her through the face and when she kept calling for help he shot her through the ear, then getting above her he choked her unconscious as witnessed by their teenage daughter. A neighbor heard Joan shouting for help but after the second shot, heard nothing. Anthony gave several stories including that she shot herself cleaning the weapon, that she was shot during a struggle for the gun, and that he shot her but it was a medicine he was taking. There was never any evidence given that he was taking the named medicine. In court his daughter testified, "He's manipulative. He's mean. He's cruel."

HUSBAND ARRESTED IN WIFE'S SHOOTING DEATH
Los Angeles Times
February 21, 1989
[Excerpts] A Chatsworth woman was shot to death in her home Monday afternoon, and police arrested her estranged husband on suspicion of murder. Paramedics, responding to a report from neighbors who heard shots, found Joan Patricia Scalzo, 44, on the floor of her home in the 10040 block of Nevada Avenue, shot in the upper body. She was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 2:30 p.m., said a Police Department spokesman. Scalzo's husband, Anthony Michael Scalzo, 49, who was leaving the house as paramedics arrived, was arrested...

GIRL SAYS FATHER APPEARED TO CHOKE DYING MOTHER
Los Angeles Times
Amy Louise Kazmin
October 27, 1989
[Excerpts] A 15-year-old Chatsworth girl testified Thursday that she watched her father [Anthony Michael Scalzo] - a former sheriff's deputy - apparently trying to strangle her mother [Joan Patricia Scalzo] as she lay on the dining room floor screaming that she had been shot... Joan Scalzo was shot twice in the head with a .38-caliber revolver Feb. 20, 1989... Claudia Scalzo, a high school junior, testified that she was working on the pool in the back yard when she heard a loud bang. She went into the dining room and saw her father bending over her mother on the floor. "He was over her with both hands around her neck, on the pulse points... She asked me to get him off her. I tried pulling on his arm. Then he told me that there was an accident and asked me to get an ambulance"... her father told her that her mother had shot herself accidentally while cleaning a gun... The Scalzo's next-door neighbor, Michael B. Tindell, testified that he heard a gunshot and ran to the Scalzo home. Standing at the front door, he heard Joan Scalzo repeatedly screaming for police and an ambulance, he said. "She was helpless, calling out, wanting somebody to do something," Tindell said. Minutes later, Tindell heard a second shot, and then Joan Scalzo was quiet... Tindell said Scalzo told him that he and his wife were struggling over the gun when it went off by accident... He said he could hear Claudia in a back room screaming and crying.

FORMER DEPUTY PLEADS GUILTY IN WIFE'S DEATH
Los Angeles Times
May 15, 1990
[Excerpts] A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday in the shooting death of his wife... Anthony Michael Scalzo, 50, admitted shooting Joan Patricia Scalzo, 44, during an argument on Feb. 20, 1989... Joan Scalzo was a fifth-grade teacher at Pinecrest Elementary School in Northridge. She died after being shot twice in the head with a .38-caliber revolver... Anthony Scalzo had been charged with murder. The lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter covers killings that resulted from heated arguments rather than premeditation...

EX-DEPUTY WHO KILLED WIFE GETS 13-YEAR TERM COURTS: ANTHONY MICHAEL SCALZO RECEIVES THE MAXIMUM PRISON SENTENCE. HE BLAMED THE 1989 SHOOTING ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS HE HAD BEEN TAKING.
Los Angeles Times
Patricia Klein Lerner
Sep 6, 1990
A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who claimed he was under the influence of a sleeping pill when he shot and killed his wife was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison. Anthony Michael Scalzo, 51, said he was under the influence of a prescription drug called Halcion when he shot his wife, Joan, 44, in the right cheek. After hearing her scream for help, he shot her again in the right ear... Scalzo's attorney, Howard R. Price of Beverly Hills, argued that Scalzo was a gentle person with no criminal record and no history of wife abuse before the shooting. Price attributed the shooting to an organic brain disorder caused by Scalzo's use of Halcion and several other central nervous system depressants and muscle relaxants... Scalzo should receive 13 years in prison-the maximum sentence-for voluntary manslaughter. Nishinaka argued there is no proof that Scalzo was taking Halcion or other drugs. Scalzo was originally charged with murder but was allowed to plead guilty last May to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter. Prosecutors said they permitted the plea bargain in part because of Scalzo's claim that he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the killing... Scalzo's 16-year-old daughter, Claudia, told the judge drugs had nothing to do with the killing. "He's manipulative. He's mean. He's cruel"...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder accidental california state politics]

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