Live coverage of the Joseph Fitzpatrick first-degree murder trial


Judge Richard K. Renn acquitted Joseph Fitzpatrick III on Sept. 1 citing a lack of evidence to support a conviction.

The commonwealth immediately filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

Defense attorney Chris Ferro filed a request for Fitzpatrick’s immediate release from custody or his release on bail.

The commonwealth maintains that Ferro’s request came after the prosecution filed its appeal and the jurisdiction for Fitzpatrick’s bail or release is properly before the Superior Court, not Renn.

There is a hearing at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15 before Renn to determine who has jurisdiction over the bail/release question.


Authorities contend that Joseph Bernard Fitzpatrick III faked an ATV accident to cover up his wife’s murder.

Follow live coverage of his first-degree murder trial in York County court below or on Twitter @RickLeeYDR or#Fitz.

The prosecution alleges Annemarie Fitzpatrick’s $1.7 million life insurance policies and his ongoing relationship with another woman were his motives to kill his wife.

Joseph Fitzpatrick III

Joseph Fitzpatrick III

Fitzpatrick, 42, told authorities that he and his wife were celebrating a late wedding anniversary by the creek that bordered their property on June 6, 2012. He said she was in control of the ATV, with him riding behind her, when she backed them over a 6-foot embankment and into the 8-foot deep creek.

Annemarie Fitzpatrick

Annemarie Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick said he dove repeatedly looking for his wife’s body before spotting it on the other side of the creek. After Pennsylvania State Police attempted to reconstruct the fatal ATV ride, the death was ruled a homicide.

Troopers also found a note in Annemarie Fitzpatrick’s day planner that read, “If anything happens to me – Joe.”

About Rick Lee

Rick Lee is a veteran courthouse reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Contact him at or call 495-1782.
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