A Gilbert man is accused of murdering his wife in their home but claiming to police she slipped and fell in the bathroom.
Mark-Eric Ponsati, 36, is facing one count of second-degree murder in the Sept. 7 death of his wife and the mother of their two young children, 33-year-old Sherri Ponsati.
He was arrested Thursday.
Police say Mark-Eric Ponsati, a major in the U.S. Army reserves and military counsel, tried to destroy evidence and staged the crime scene at the couple’s home, where they had lived for about a year.
Mark-Eric Ponsati called 911 to report that his wife had slipped and hit her head in the bathroom of their Val Vista Lakes home just before 10 p.m. Sept. 7. She was taken to Banner Gateway Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.
An autopsy by the medical examiner indicated Sherri Ponsati suffered “multiple blunt force injuries, multiple rib fractures, multiple skull fractures, spine and brain bruising consistent with violent shaking, and a large laceration of the back of her head.”
“Ponsati’s injuries could not have been caused by a single slip and fall injury, as described” by her husband, police wrote in court records.
At the couple’s home, police say, there were indications of staging in the bathroom, including an odd blood pattern and a large amount of bath soap on the floor. Police also said Ponsati attempted to destroy evidence by washing the clothes his wife had been wearing.
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Records show Mark-Eric Ponsati told officers he and his wife had no recent arguments or a history of marital issues. But in the days that followed, police said they received multiple calls from family members and at least one close friend who perceived the relationship as volatile and noted jealousy and control issues.
Callers detailed a troubled marriage that included a long separation and infidelity claims. One relative said Mark-Eric had threatened to kill Sherri if she attempted to end the marriage, according to police.
Ponsati was being held Friday in a Maricopa County jail on a $1 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 21.
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