- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - Jurors in the trial of a former Boone man accused of killing his wife heard from the woman’s relatives and doctor Tuesday as they testified about her health and prescription drug use.

Defense attorneys called on family members of both Emily and Alexander Fazzino during Alexander Fazzino’s trial in Winneshiek County court, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1pmPlR7 ) reported.

Alexander Fazzino is charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty in Emily Fazzino’s January 2012 death in their Boone home, contending she accidentally drowned in a bathtub, possibly induced by withdrawal from prescription drugs. Prosecutors argue she was strangled and possibly drowned.

Cindy Beckwith, Emily Fazzino’s mother, testified that her daughter had asked for help in overcoming an addiction to painkillers. Beckwith described her daughter’s four-day detoxification process, saying she suffered severe headaches and nausea.

“And I cradled her head,” Beckwith said through tears.

Nick Fazzino, Alexander Fazzino’s father, said Emily Fazzino drank frequently and he became concerned in 2010.

On one occasion he noticed she was jittery, shaky and was slurring her words, he testified.

“We loved Emily,” said Nick Fazzino, who also cried while on the witness stand.

Dr. Jean Lorentzen, who treated Emily Fazzino from February 2010 until January 2012, described Emily Fazzino’s medical history, mentioning complaints about depression, insomnia and pain. At various times, she had prescriptions for different pain relievers, she testified, adding that she was aware Emily Fazzino had more than one doctor.

Emily Fazzino said she had taken morphine sulfate, Lorentzen testified, describing the drug was a “potent pain reliever.” Lorentzen said Emily Fazzino wouldn’t say where she got those pills.

“It can be very dangerous, especially if taken above specified levels or with something else,” Lorentzen said.

Lorentzen also said Emily Fazzino admitted taking a Xanax without permission from one of her parents and filling and taking a prescription for hydrocodone intended for her husband.

Defense attorney William Kutmus asked Lorentzen whether she thought Emily Fazzino was cured of her addiction.

“I don’t think I said anything about being cured,” Lorentzen said.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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