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Hasbrouck Heights man, 83, pleads not guilty in shooting death of tenant

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

Defense attorney Robert Galantucci, John Wisse (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: A defense attorney this afternoon entered a not-guilty plea for an 83-year-old Hasbrouck Heights man who authorities said killed his 58-year-old tenant with a single gunshot to the chest during an argument over the wekend.

John C. Wisse was formally charged in a Hackensack courtroom with aggravated manslaughter and illegal weapons possession in the death of Gerald Velardi Jr. at his two-family Passaic Street home late Saturday afternoon.

Several of Velardi’s relatives and loved ones attended the brief hearing, as did a man who was with Wisse and conferred with defense attorney Robert Galantucci.

Sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that Wisse — who didn’t say anything in court today — called 911 around 5 p.m. Saturday to report the shooting.

The .38-caliber handgun was recovered, authorities said.

Wisse returned to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained held on $750,000 bail, after today’s hearing.

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