MIDLAND PARK, N.J. -- A Midland Park man who prosecutors say raped, sodomized and strangled his former girlfriend while their baby slept in a nearby bassinet pleaded guilty to murder charges Friday in Hackensack.
Mark J. Spatucci will be sentenced to 45 years in state prison -- more than 38 of which he must serve before being eligible for parole -- in the grisly killing of Mary Greff on Oct. 23, 2013.
Spatucci, 25, also pleaded guilty to hindering his apprehension by concealing or destroying evidence.
A 12-count indictment returned by a grand jury in Hackensack last year accused Spatucci of burglary and child endangement offenses in addition to seven first-degree murder- and sex assault-related counts.
Prosecutors said Spatucci climbed through a second-floor window into Greff’s parents’ home while they were sleeping, got into an argument with her and either strangled or suffocated her before leaving the way he came in.
Asleep in another room was their son – named Mark, like his father and paternal grandfather.
Leon and Carol Ann Greff called authorities after they found the body of their daughter, who turned 23 two days before she was killed. A graduate of Midland Park High School, Spatucci became an immediate suspect. He was found in Midland Park, taken in for questioning and later charged.
Authorities said he washed the clothes he was wearing at the time of the crimes and deleted text messages between him and Greff. Semen samples recovered from two bodily cavities returned positive results against him, they said.
The felony murder charge stemmed from Spatucci sneaking into the home through the window, which under the law is a burglary. A killing committed during the commission of another felony gives rise to the additional count.
The pair began dating sometime in 2011. They lived with their son for a time at Spatucci’s Harrison Avenue apartment in Waldwick, but then Greff returned to live with her parents and the baby, authorities said.
Greff had full custody, although Spatucci had visitation rights, they said.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Kazlau scheduled sentencing for July 15. Meanwhile, Spatucci remained held without bail in the Bergen County Jail.