SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A retired Westfield police detective stands accused of killing his wife 17 months ago in what was originally reported as a suicide.
In Hampden Superior Court, Brian Fanion, 55, pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Prosecutors explained in great detail the evidence they've gathered against fanion.
A prosecutor with the Hampden County District Attorney’s office said Fanion staged his wife, Amy's, suicide.
Prosecutors said law enforcement had concerns about the reported self-inflicted gunshot wound from the very beginning and said their investigation only confirmed their suspicions that Brian allegedly pulled the trigger.
“She had no singeing of the hair, suggesting close-range to her head,” A.D.A. Mary Sandstrom said in court.
Sandstrom listed off what she called tell-tale signs of a self-inflicted gunshot wound including burned hair, soot residue, and a straight bullet trajectory - none of which she said were found on 51-year-old Amy Fanion.
“At the very least, his gun was fired 18 inches from her head,” Sandstrom added.
Sandstrom also said the testimony from Brian Fanion, Amy's husband and retired Westifeld detective, was inconsistent with the suicide he claimed to witness.
“He's bringing the gun up to his temple firing that gun in a straightforward motion across the head. Amy Fanion's wound is instead above and behind her ear and traveling in a downward angle,” Sandstrom noted.
The prosecution said Brian was planning to retire from the Westfield Police force around the time Amy died in their home in May 2018.
Sandstrom claimed their team found evidence of another woman, who Brian was communicating with.
“The affair began early it seems...early in March. He didn't want to get divorced because that could impact or ruin his pension,” Sandstrom explained.
On Fanion's devices, Sandstrom said there were searches, doubling as warning signs uncovered too late
“He was looking up the medical examiner's office, the forensic biologist section of the medical examiner's office, days and hours before Amy Fanion’s murder. He was looking up things that people could easily overdose on around the household,” Sandstrom noted.
She said all those factors point to one motive.
“There was only one way to enjoy his retirement go on with his life and his new love affair that was through murdering Amy Fanion,” Sandstrom said.
However, the defense claimed the science is on Brian's side.
“Amy Fanion's death was determined to be undetermined by the state's medical examiner's office,” said defense attorney Jeffrey Brown.
Brown argued that Brian is not a flight risk and has stayed in the Westfield area since Amy's death. He said Brian is unafraid for his day in court.
“He looks forward to it because he didn't do it,” Brown added.
Fanion is being held without the right to bail. He is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on January 9.