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Arrest in Wood-Ridge murder

Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor

Investigators have charged a close friend in the stabbing death of 39-year-old John Amendola in his Wood-Ridge home. They said they also found the murder weapon after searching the accused killer’s home and that of his girlfriend.

Scott Smith (PHOTO COURTESY Bergen County Prosecutor)

Scott J. Smith, a 33-year-old former Hasbrouck Heights police officer, was alone with Amendola early Sunday when an argument erupted, “during the course of which it is alleged that Smith stabbed the victim numerous times with a knife that he carried regularly,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

“Smith then fled the scene, taking the weapon with him,” the prosecutor said.

A friend found Amendola’s body just before 2 oclock Sunday afternoon and called police. The victim had been stabbed several times, Molinelli said.

The 6-foot Smith, of Hasbrouck Heights, was involved last year with a prescription drug scam. He was on the Hasbrouck Heights police force from 2000 until 2008.

Smith is charged with murder, weapons possession and hindreing apprehension. He is being held on $2 million bail in the Bergen County Jail, with a first court appearance set for this Thursday.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE: John Amendola, the 39-year-old man murdered in a Wood-Ridge residence Sunday afternoon, was related to Anthony Scardino, the former state senator, Lyndhurst mayor and NJSEA commissioner from Bergen County, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. READ MORE….

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