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Merrick man accused of killing wife in domestic altercation says he's 'innocent'

John Gerges is escorted from Nassau County police

John Gerges is escorted from Nassau County police headquarters in Mineola for his arraignment on Monday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Merrick man charged in the death of his disabled wife said he was innocent as he was led out of Nassau County police headquarters for arraignment Monday morning.

In court, John Gerges, 60, of Lindgren Street, was ordered held at the Nassau jail and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Marvat Gerges, 58.  He is accused of strangling his wife of 37 years after an early-morning argument that broke out as he was trying to fix the kitchen sink, police said.

But as he was led to court Monday, Gerges declared he was innocent and said that he, himself, had suffered “years of abuse.”

Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Nassau County Police homicide squad, said in a Mineola news conference that John Gerges — who took care of his physically disabled wife — put his hands around her neck and asphyxiated her, “causing her death.”

As to Gerges’ contention that he was abused, Fitzpatrick said, “There is no indication of that and I don’t know why he would say that.” 

“John tells us that they were involved in a physical fight, an argument,“ Fitzpatrick said. “During this argument it became physical, at which time John put his hands on Marvat, ceasing her ability to breathe.”

John Gerges was apparently fixing the kitchen sink about 3 a.m. on Saturday when the argument began, Fitzpatrick said, adding that the couple often had flights but police had no record of responding to earlier disputes.

Their 32-year-old son, who lives with them, heard the couple arguing as he was leaving for work. “When he returned home he discovered his mom deceased on the bed,” Fitzpatrick said, and called 911. John Gerges was not at home when police responded about 2:20 p.m. Saturday and found the victim unresponsive. He returned home Sunday, and was interrogated by police.

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