HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A delegation of Midland Park police officers stood against a courtroom wall as a judge in Hackensack set $5 million bail Thursday morning for a disgraced former NYPD officer accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death in her driveway.
The delegation was led by borough Mayor Harry Shortway, who also is a Bergen County undersheriff.
Defense attorney Anthony M. LaPinta entered a not-guilty plea for wheelchair-bound Arthur Lomando, who lost both feet after throwing himself in front of a New York City subway train during the manhunt that followed Suzanne Bardzell's murder this past Oct. 22.
LaPinta also questioned the bail -- the highest in Bergen County in recent years, according to jail records.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer, the chief of her office's homicide division, cited state law allowing the amount.
Presiding Superior Court Susan Steele ruled it proper and said LaPinta could always request a bail hearing at a later time.
Lomando was returned to the jail, where he's been held since being extradited and transferred from The North Infirmary Command on Rikers Island on Jan. 19.
He is charged with murder, weapons possession and violating a restraining order.
Authorities at the time said that Lomando, 44, was under a temporary restraining order when he drove a rental car to Bardzell's Godwin Avenue home after leaving his own vehicle behind in Hackensack.
He apparently had been waiting for some time for before attacking Bardzell with a large "Rambo-styled survival knife" when she pulled into her driveway, a law enforcement source told Daily Voice.
All of it was captured by a video surveillance camera outside the home, the source said.
Earlier that month the discovery of Lomando's abandoned car outside her home sparked a massive search involving no fewer than 18 police agencies. It eventually ended after he called his lawyer to surrender. Lomando later posted bail and was released.
Authorities recovered the rental car in Harlem after Lomando threw himself in front of a subway train later the same day, costing him both feet ( SEE: Prosecutor: Ex-Officer Who Killed Midland Park Mom Tries Subway Suicide ).
They also recovered his own car in an area of River Street in Hackensack where a trio of rental agencies are located, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the discovery told Daily Voice.
Bardzell and Lomando were in court in Hackensack on Oct. 19, three days before she was killed, for a final hearing on her request for a permanent restraining order.
The hearing was adjourned -- with the temporary order still in effect -- after both asked for more time, a courthouse source told Daily Voice.
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