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Mass. Detective Allegedly Staged Wife's Murder as Suicide So He Could Be With Lover, Keep Pension

Harriet Sokmensuer

A police detective in Massachusetts is accused of staging his wife’s murder as a suicide so he could be with his lover and not surrender any of the pension he expected to receive.

Brian Fanion, 55, was charged with first-degree murder for the May 2018 death of his wife 51-year-old Amy Fanion, the Office of the Hampden District Attorney announced in a statement Thursday.

On May 8, 2018, authorities responded to a 911 call reporting a suicide at the Fanion’s Westfield home. Upon arrival, police found Amy Fanion dead of a gunshot wound. Brian Fanion, a detective with the Westfield police department at the time, told investigators he had come home on his lunch break to see that his wife had shot herself with his service weapon.

Amy’s death was initially investigated as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But evidence collected through a search warrant of the couple’s home including computers and phones “found incriminating evidence,” according to the statement.

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On Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Mary Sandstrom told a Hampden Superior Court judge that forensic evidence gathered found that the bullet’s trajectory made suicide “impossible,” according to MassLive.

Sandstrom alleged Fanion had been having an affair for two months before Amy’s death. She said he didn’t want to get divorced because he would have to surrender half of his pension.

“There was only one way to enjoy his retirement and his new love affair … that was to kill his wife,” Sandstrom said.

Sandtrom said hours before his wife’s death Fanion had been looking at apartments online.

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However, Fanion’s attorney argued that his wife had been dealing with mental illness.

“Her diary is replete with issues she was having … seeking God’s help to get her through these issues,” Jeffrey Brown said. “They’re not interested in the truth here.”

Brown said Fanion’s family, including the couple’s two children, did not believe the allegations against him.

Fanion is being held without bail, according to the District Attorney’s Office. His next scheduled court date is on January 9, 2020.  Brown could not be reached for comment.