Dec 11, 2023

Court orders reports on accused older murderer’s cognition, bail considerations

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Frank Dimasi with his wife Maria who he is accused of murdering in their Adelaide home. [Source: Nine News]

An Adelaide Magistrate’s Court has ordered reports be provided to them to determine the severity of accused murderer Frank Dimasi’s dementia condition and whether he is suitable to be released on bail.

Appearing in court for the first time via video link from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he is being held under police guard, Mr Dimasi, 91, is accused of killing his wife Maria Dimasi, who was also called ‘Nonna Maria’ by the local community, inside their Adelaide home earlier this month.

At the initial hearing last week, Mr Dimasi was not present, with his defence counsel claiming he had been unconscious for most of the day. Mr Dimasi’s counsel said his client has dementia so the court has ordered a report to determine the severity of his condition and if there is any risk to the community if he was out on bail. 

At last week’s initial hearing, police alleged the body of Mrs Dimasi, 85, was found at the couple’s Findon home after Mr Dimasi called triple-0 on the night of December 2. Police allege he admitted to arguing with his wife and then subsequently killed her after being found intoxicated and covered in blood.

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Maria Dimasi was well-known in Adelaide’s Italian community for her cooking, including volunteering efforts at the family’s community meal service Nonna’s Cucina. [Source: Facebook]

“[Mr Dimasi] said he was sorry that he killed his wife and that she deserved it,” a police prosecutor told the court.

“At the time of the incident, his blood alcohol was […] more than four times the legal limit.”

Last week, the Dimasi family released a statement describing their Nonna Maria as a “caring” and “wonderful woman” who was “loved by many” and asked for privacy while they grieve.

“We will always remember Maria for her warmth, caring nature, compassion and her beautiful smile,” they said.

“Maria enjoyed sharing her passion for cooking, including teaching others and through her voluntary contribution at Nonna’s Cucina.”

Mr Dimasi will return to court in January. 

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