CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A former New York City police officer killed in April was stabbed in the back 19 times by his ex-wife, a Mecklenburg prosecutor said in court Thursday.
Carole LaRossa, 48, of Waxhaw, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of her estranged husband, James LaRossa, at his Rea Road apartment in south Charlotte. She’s out of jail on $250,000 bond, but was asking a judge to relax some of the conditions of her release. Particularly, her attorneys argued she wanted to stop wearing a monitoring bracelet on her ankle around the clock because she needed medical treatment.
But Assistant District Attorney Robert Corbett said the gruesomeness of the April 10 stabbing was one reason bond conditions shouldn’t be relaxed. An autopsy described six of the back wounds as the most serious, penetrating more than two inches. One sliced a heart valve, which incapacitated James LaRossa and ultimately led to his death.
Defense attorney David Rudolf didn’t counter, saying other details would come out at trial. He said there was a history of domestic violence–-Carole LaRossa also had stab wounds when police arrived, though her injuries weren’t life-threatening. The couple’s daughter was at a sleepover during the killing.
Superior Court Judge Robert Bell ultimately ruled that Carole LaRossa had to continue to wear the monitor, but could have it briefly removed for medical procedures.
In the two years before the killing, the couple had had marital troubles.
In August 2010, Carole LaRossa made a domestic violence complaint against her husband in Union County. The complaint was voluntarily dismissed, records show, and she was granted a temporary restraining order against him.
Divorce proceedings began last year. Last spring, James LaRossa signed over to his wife a Waxhaw house the couple bought in 2008.
The hearing was attended by nearly 30 members of the NYPD “10-13” club, a group of retired officers. (The NYPD scanner code for an officer in danger or needing help is “10-13”). James LaRossa was a member of the group.
“This is the first we’ve heard of the viciousness of the attack,” said Retired Det. Frank DeMasi, a board member who said club members intend to be present at every step of the trial.
“Jimmy doesn’t have much of a family, but we’re a brotherhood. We’re here today and we’ll be here at every court date.”