WILKES-BARRE — A man suspected in the killing of his wife before shooting himself in September filed a motion Monday in Luzerne County Court intending to present a mental-infirmity defense.
Vito Aiello, 48, is accused of shooting his wife, Jane Aiello, inside their home on Andover Street, Wilkes-Barre, on Sept. 26. She died from gunshot wounds.
Vito Aiello survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his face.
“The nature, extent and duration of the infirmity is not known at this time,” defense attorney Demetrius W. Fannick wrote, referring to his client.
“As soon as the defense can adequately and accurately ascertain its nature, extent and duration, the Commonwealth will be so informed,” Fannick continued.
According to the notice mental-infirmity defense filed by Fannick, he intends to call expert and lay witnesses to testify at trial, “but as of this date, has made no definite decision as to what witnesses he will call.”
While Fannick did say he will notify the prosecution when that decision is made, he wrote that Dr. Robert Sadoff might be included as a witness. Sadoff is a psychiatrist from Montgomery County.
Beset by marital difficulties, Jane Aiello filed for divorce in Luzerne County Court on Sept. 13, writing in her petition that the marriage had become “intolerable and life burdensome” and “irretrievably broken.” She also was seeking spousal support from her husband, owner of a local cleaning business.
Neighbors told The Times Leader last fall that Aiello was removed from the house by police on Sept. 23 when his wife was there retrieving belongings. They believed she returned three days later to get more clothes, thinking Aiello was at work.
Police were dispatched to the Aiello home at 389 Andover St. after Salvatore Aiello, 15, reported that his mother and father had been shot, according to the affidavit.
The teen told police he was upstairs playing video games when he heard his parents arguing, followed by his mother yelling, “call 911,” according to the affidavit. The teen went to the bedroom door to see his father standing over his mother, with a pistol in his right hand. He said he then saw his father shoot himself in the chin and drop to the floor.
Vito Aiello waived a preliminary hearing in November, and pleaded not guilty in March before county Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr.