Vernon Man Charged With Manslaughter, Accused of Smothering Woman to Death

Vernon Police

Vernon police have arrested a man and charged him with manslaughter on Tuesday in connection to a woman's death from 2018.

Jason Fazzino, 24, is accused of smothering a woman with a pillow multiple times while she was under the influence of narcotics.

Officers were called to a home on Sunnyview Drive on April 29, 2018, after geting a report of a 28-year-old woman overdosing.

Authorities said Fazzino was living in the home with the woman at the time.

Police said he was found hiding in the basement and was taken into custody on that day for violating a protective order that prohibited him from being in the home. There was also a valid protective order between Fazzino and the woman at the time.

Shortly after the incident, authorities determined the circumstances of the woman's death were suspicious.

Investigators said they learned that while the woman was under the influence of narcotics, Fazzino allegedly smothered her with a pillow on two separate occasions until she stopped breathing.

Authorities believe that Fazzino did not seek medical assistance for her for several hours until her young child found her dead.

When medical personnel arrived and attempted to resuscitate her, police said they were unsuccessful and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the manner of death was homicide. Her cause of death was determined to be "smothering while intoxicated by the combined effects of acetyl fentanyl, cocaine and fentanyl," according to police.

While Fazzino was in jail for unrelated charges, authorities said he violated an active protective order by contacting a family member by phone over 130 times. Police said he then contacted the same family member another 83 times.

Investigators also said in the month before the woman died, Fazzino exposed a 7-year-old child to a sexually explicit movie and smoked crack cocaine in front of the child.

Fazzino was released from the Department of Correction custody and brought to Vernon Police Headquarters on Tuesday where he was processed for three warrants.

He is facing charges including manslaughter, tampering with evidence, false statement, violation of a protection order, criminal attempt of violation of a protective order and risk of injury to a minor. He is being held on bonds totaling $630,000 and will be in court on Wednesday.

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