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Husband Charged With Murder In Oakland Woman’s Fatal Fall

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A man who claimed that his wife died in a fall at their home in Oakland’s Montclair district last month has now been charged with murdering her, authorities said Wednesday.

When Joseph Bontempo, 53, a locksmith, called police at about 6:30 p.m. on July 6, he said his wife, Laurie Wolfe, 57, had died after slipping on the stairs of their home in the 6700 block of the couple’s home in the 6700 block of Saroni Drive, Oakland police Officer Leo Sanchez said in a probable cause statement.

Wolfe was pronounced dead at the scene after police and paramedics responded to Bontempo’s call.

Bontempo told police that he didn’t see his wife fall and that he and his wife were the only people at their home at the time, according to Sanchez.

However, police officers who investigated the incident thought there were “suspicious circumstances” surrounding Wolfe’s death and continued looking into the matter, Sanchez said.

Pathologist Dr. Thomas Rogers of the Alameda County Coroner’s office later conducted an autopsy and determined that Wolfe died from blunt force trauma that wasn’t consistent with a fall so the Coroner’s office classified her death as a homicide, according to Sanchez.

Bontempo was arrested at 3411 Crane Way in the Montclair district at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sanchez said.

Bontempo, who’s being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail, is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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