York County man sentenced to life in prison for murder of his wife
The jury delivered a verdict of guilty for the man accused of killing his wife and trying to make it look like an accident. Joe Fitzpatrick was on trial for killing his wife. AnneMarie Fitzpatrick drowned on June 6th, 2012 in a creek on the property she shared with her husband in Chanceford Township, York County.
The jury convicted Joe of First Degree Murder for AnnMarie’s death and immediately after a judge sentenced him to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Fitzpatrick held his wife down in the creek and drowned her. Fitzpatrick told jurors that it was an ATV accident. He said he and AnneMarie were both flung into the water and that he couldn’t find his wife.
He also testified that when he found her he was able to pull her to the shore and begin CPR. He also kept saying he was ashamed of an affair he was having with another woman, and that shame was the reason why he threw away his wife’s cell phone the day after she died instead of giving it to police. He said it was to hide the affair from his two daughters, not to conceal a murder.
Investigators noted that while AnneMarie suffered bruises and abrasions all over her body, even a broken rib, Joseph had no visible injuries, despite reportedly experiencing the same fall on the ATV from the bank into the creek. Troopers say Fitzpatrick changed his story in their interview with him just two days after AnneMarie’s death. He initially said he had shifted the ATV into gear, then later said he did not. He also told the investigators that his marriage was solid and there were no problems between him and AnneMarie.
But AnneMarie left behind evidence that there were serious problems. One of her co-workers found a note written in AnneMarie Fitzpatrick’s daily planner that read: “06/06/12. If something happens to me- JOE.”
During a review of her emails from work, investigators discovered one sent to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ on June 6th at 10:30am. The subject line read “if something happens to me.” The address ‘email@example.com’ was AnneMarie’s personal e-mail account. The e-mail reads, “Joe and I are having marital problems. Last night we almost had an accident where a huge log fell on me. Joe was on the pile with the log and had me untying a tarp directly below.”
Police also found evidence that Joseph Fitzpatrick was having an affair when they dug into his work e-mail account and Facebook page. Fitzpatrick and his love interest exchanged multiple proclamations of love and sexual attraction. Fitzpatrick told his love interest he was going to leave AnneMarie.