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Peabody man charged with murder of his estranged wife

Peabody resident Emilio Matarazzo was arraigned in Malden District Court Thursday and charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo. (WBZ-TV)

MALDEN — The night before her death, prosecutors say Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo told friends and family she feared her estranged husband might kill her.

Emilio Matarazzo, of Peabody, was arraigned in Malden District Court Thursday and charged with murder.

Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney Carrie Spiros told the court Cataldo Matarazzo was in her car in the family’s driveway on Central Avenue in Everett Wednesday morning when Matarazzo shot her multiple times. When police arrived, she was slumped over in the vehicle with five or six shots to the chest and face from a Beretta shotgun. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two hours later, the defendant turned himself in to Everett police.

The couple was married in 1988, according to court documents, and bought a home on Baldwin Street in Peabody in 2015 for $552,000.

But Cataldo Matarazzo filed for divorce last month citing the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. She had been living in her parents’ Everett home since the separation, Spiros said.

Starting in November, Cataldo Matarazzo told family that her husband had been violent with her and had tried to mend the marriage with an apology, gifts of cash, and chocolates, but she rebuffed him, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said surveillance video around Matarazzo’s parents’ home recorded a Chevrolet Silverado, the type of vehicle Matarazzo owns, in the area before and after the killing.

Judge Cesar Archilla ordered the 55-year-old defendant held without bail. His next scheduled court date is on Monday, Jan. 14.  

While he has no criminal record, police were called by Don’s Power Equipment on Route 1 in Peabody two years ago over a dispute with Matarazzo about a snow blower repair. A police report of the incident said Matarazzo was told he was not welcome as a customer and to leave the property.

Following the arraignment, Cataldo Matarazzo’s aunt Maureen DiPerro spoke to reporters about her niece’s death.

“We all loved Ersilia deeply,” she said. “She was a fabulous mother, who supported her three children. A devoted daughter, who was always there for her parents … A loving and generous sister, aunt, niece, and friend, always giving of herself and putting others first.”

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