Retired NJ man stages robbery to murder wife, cops say
❗ A North Jersey man is charged with murder
❗ He is accused of killing his wife using a pillow and trying to hide his involvement
❗ The husband threw out her belongings in a dumpster, authorities said
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS — A 71-year-old man is accused of killing his wife and plotting to cover up the murder.
Michael Manis is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree desecrating human remains, third-degree hindering the apprehension of oneself, and fourth-degree false report to police. He was arrested Sunday, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
Hasbrouck Heights police were called to Manis's home at 110 Hamilton Avenue on Sunday around 5 p.m., Musella said.
Manis had picked up the phone and called 911 to report that his wife had been killed. He told police that he had just arrived home and found his wife's body, Musella said.
But an investigation found that Manis had actually killed his wife on Friday and staged a robbery to conceal the murder, Musella said.
Manis admitted to suffocating his wife to death using a pillow, a criminal complaint said. In staging the home invasion, he then hid her jewelry in the basement ceiling and threw out some of her other belongings in a dumpster behind the 7-Eleven at 300 Hackensack Street in Woodbridge, according to the complaint.
The victim has been identified as Judith Manis, the complaint said. Property records show the couple had owned the home on Hamilton Ave since 1996.
Manis is now retired, according to authorities. State records show he owned his own company — Michael Manis Lighting, LLC — and ran it out of his home in Hasbrouck Heights.
In 2014, the state Board of Public Utilities suspended the company from all New Jersey Clean Energy Programs. Documents show that he submitted the same improperly altered forms multiple times and that the board issued the suspension for "intentional misconduct."