BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A 41-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife while the two were visiting Vermont for their first wedding anniversary.
Joseph Ferlazzo told detectives he shot to death his wife Emily Ferlazzo, 22, early Saturday inside their vehicle in Bolton and he later dismembered her body with a saw, police said.
During a brief arraignment in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington Wednesday, Joseph Ferlazzo, who appeared in court via video conference from the state prison in St. Albans, was ordered held without bail pending a hearing. The not guilty plea was entered on Ferlazzo’s behalf by his defense attorney, William Kidney.
Chittenden County State’s attorney Sarah George said the evidence of guilt was great.
Police listed St. Albans as the home address for Joseph Ferlazzo but an affidavit of probable cause filed in court Wednesday to support the charge said he and his wife had been living in a converted bus on her parents’ property in New Hampshire.
Relatives told investigators the Ferlazzos traveled to Vermont on Friday in their camper to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
Police say there had been “a history of domestic violence within the relationship and Emily has been seen with scratches and bruises.”
When being interviewed by detectives on Tuesday, Joseph Ferlazzo told investigators he and his wife argued inside their camper and she was punching and kicking him during the argument. Emily Ferlazzo later stopped hitting and kicking him and she laid on a bed in the camper.
After five to 10 minutes, Joseph Ferlazzo retrieved a handgun and shot her twice in the head, according to the affidavit. He moved her body to the bathroom of the camper, the affidavit said
On Saturday morning, Joseph said he took the camper from Bolton to a friend’s house in St. Albans, according to police. About 12 to 15 hours after the shooting, he used a handsaw to dismember her body, he told police. He then placed the body parts in garbage bags, which stayed in the camper.
Joseph Ferlazzo was located by police at a St. Albans convenience store on Tuesday. During a subsequent interview he told investigators he had killed his wife and dismembered her body.
When police searched the camper they located eight plastic bags that contained what appeared to be human remains. The remains were sent to the office of the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy. Police also located the weapon believed used to kill Emily Ferlazzo and the saw used to dismember her.
Police began searching for Emily Ferlazzo on Monday after her family reported her missing.
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