Denville Man Found Guilty of the Murder of His Ex-Wife

Published on July 23, 2014

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that a Morris County Jury found Anthony F. Novellino, 67 years old, of Denville, New Jersey guilty of the June 19, 2010 murder of his ex-wife, Judith Novellino. The jury also found him guilty of Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Hindering Own Apprehension and Tampering with Physical Evidence. 

The jury returned its verdict after approximately three hours of deliberations. Executive Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Tia Manochio represented the State in the trial which had commenced on July 7, 2014. 

On June 8, 2010 the divorce between Judith Novellino and the defendant, Anthony Novellino was finalized. On June 19, 2010, Judith Novellino was at the former marital home, located at 16 Cliffside Trail in Denville, packing some of her belongings in an effort to move out of the home. The defendant arrived at the home and then stabbed his ex-wife 84 times in the bathroom of the residence. 

After stabbing Judith Novellino to death, the defendant retrieved a pig mask from a hallway closet and placed it over her face. He then washed off the knife he used and hid it underneath the staircase leading to the lower level of the home. The defendant also discarded the bloody shoes he was wearing in a garbage bag that he threw out during his flight from the scene. The defendant was apprehended on June 24, 2010 in Puyallup, Washington where he had fled to meet a woman he had been communicating with on-line for several years.

The defendant faces 30 years to life in State Prison for the guilty verdict on the charge of murder and an additional 13 years on the other charges.         

Prosecutor Knapp stated, Justice has been served by the jury's swift and decisive verdict. Hopefully, Judy Novellino's family can now have some sense of solace that the defendant was convicted of this heinous crime. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Judy's surviving family members and friends. My personal thanks to Maggie Calderwood, Tia Manochio, Steve Wilson, Paul Nigro and everyone else involved in this prosecution. 

Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Christopher Wagner, Captain Paul Nigro, Sgt. Scott Welsch and the Denville Police Department; Morris County Prosecutor's Office Captain Stephen Wilson and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit; the Morris County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Section; and the Morris County Medical Examiner's Office whose efforts contributed to this result.

The Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. presided. The defendant remains in the custody of the Morris County Correctional Facility pending sentencing which is scheduled for September 12, 2014.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].