Wakefield man charged in woman's death

Mario Vellotti (Image courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)
August 31, 2012 9:59:40 AM PDT
Police have charged a Raleigh man in the death of his estranged wife.

Mario Vellotti, 64, is accused of shooting Agata Filipska Vellotti, 43, to death at a townhome community in Wakefield on Colbert Creek Loop near North Forest Pines Elementary School.

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The first 911 call about the shooting came in around 9 a.m. after a woman's body was found lying on the ground near the townhomes with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

"We're right off of, right across from Forest Pines Elementary School," a witness told a 911 operator. "There was a shooting. It was a silver Lexus and a woman's laying there on the sidewalk."

The elementary school and several other schools nearby were placed on lockdown as a precaution, but that was lifted about an hour later.

Around that same time, Mario Vellotti showed up at the Raleigh Police Department's downtown office. He apparently complained of chest pains and was taken to WakeMed.

When doctors later cleared him, detectives charged him with his estranged wife's murder.

According to court records, the couple was separated and fighting for custody of their 6-year-old son.

Just last month, a Wake County judge issued a domestic violence protection order against Vellotti.

Court records showed that his wife accused him of assaulting her back in June. She said he hit and bruised her and tried to push her out of a moving car in front of their son.

Vellotti also filed for a protective order from Agata Vellotti, claiming she was verbally abusive and said she no longer wanted to be with him because his money ran out. He did not allege physical abuse and the judge denied his request for the protective order.

Agata Vellotti also filed for a protective order against her husband's adult son, saying he was physically and verbally abusive to her, but she later voluntarily dropped the case.

Mario Vellotti is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

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