- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A man convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-wife 84 times and then covering her face with a pig mask was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday for a crime the county’s prosecutor called “despicable and cowardly.”

Anthony Novellino won’t be eligible for parole for 42½ years under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.

A jury found Novellino, 67, guilty in July of the murder of 62-year-old Judith Novellino, a high school English teacher. The couple had recently finalized their divorce.

Prosecutors said Anthony Novellino attacked his ex-wife in their Denville home on June 19, 2010 then covered her face with the pig mask. The couple’s adult daughter found the body when she arrived at the home to help her mother move her belongings to an apartment she had rented.

Anthony Novellino fled after the killing and was captured several days later at a hotel in Puyallup, Washington.

The jury deliberated about three hours before convicting him of murder, hindering, evidence tampering and two weapons charges.

“The sentence imposed by the Court is fitting given the unspeakable nature of the crimes committed by the defendant,” Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said. “This was a despicable and cowardly murder and was punctuated by a final horrific insult. We hope that the friends and family of Judy Novellino will now have some sense of finality.”

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