Former detective’s pre-trial murder hearing delayed


SPRINGFIELD- Brian E. Fanion, the retired Westfield police officer who is accused of murdering his wife, Amy Fanion, appeared in Superior Court Jan. 10 for the first time since his indictment in early November  when he pleaded not guilty.

Fanion’s appearance was originally billed as a pre-trial hearing, but the hearing was pushed back to Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. so that further evidence and the minutes from the Grand Jury can be reviewed. The delay was approved by Judge Francis Flannery. 

In May of 2018, Amy Fanion’s death was originally ruled as a suicide. 

In November, 2019, when Fanion was arraigned and entered a not-guilty plea, Assistant District Attorney Mary Sandstrom claimed that Fanion had come home during the work day and argued with his wife. The prosecutor alleged that Fanion had shot his wife at some point during this argument and attempted to stage the scene as a suicide. 

“Upon arrival, detectives received initial information that Brian Fanion, a Westfield Police detective at the time, was on-duty and went home for lunch. While home on his lunch break, he claimed, his wife used his service weapon to inflict a fatal wound upon herself.  The Westfield Police and Fire Departments arrived on scene after Brian Fanion placed a 9-1-1 call. First responders immediately determined Amy Fanion to be deceased,” said a statement from Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.

Fanion retired from the Westfield Police shortly after his wife’s death. An investigation by the Massachusetts State Police that lasted more than a year culminated in Fanion’s arrest in November. He is being charged with first-degree murder.

During the November hearing, defense attorney, Jeffrey Brown maintained that Fanion was not guilty of murder and that he would not be a flight risk if released on bail, citing that he had remained in Westfield for 17 months after Amy Fanion’s death.

Brown also noted that Amy Fanion had kept a diary in which the final entry was written six days before her death. In it she wrote a  passage from the Bible that Brown said is often associated with one’s impending death. Sandstrom later pointed out that her diary was filled with religious passages.

Attorney Brown requested during Friday’s hearing that Fanion be waived from attending next week’s continuation of the hearing. 

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