Son of Federal Prosecutor Gets 30 Years in Prison for Striking Dad 43 Times with Ax
In Nov. 2017, Frank Altimari, 32, ran into his father and stepmother, with his car and struck his father 43 times with an ax
A 32-year-old Virginia man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday for killing his father – a former federal prosecutor – by striking him 43 times with an ax and injuring his stepmother when he rammed them both with his car during the vicious attack, PEOPLE confirms.
Frank Altimari was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 30 years suspended for second-degree murder for killing Nicholas “Nick” Altimari, 61, in 2017, online court records show.
He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for the malicious wounding of his stepmother, Felipita Altmari, according to online court records.
The sentences will run consecutively.
The University of Virginia graduate and former Capital One project manager was convicted in November of second-degree murder and malicious wounding, online court records show.
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He pleaded no contest to the charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors who agreed he would receive a maximum sentence of 30 years, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
On November 4, 2017, Altimari followed his dad and stepmother home from a restaurant and stepped on the gas when they got out of their car in the driveway of their Midlothian home, hitting them both, local station WTVR reports.
As Altimari’s stepmother, Felipita, lay on the ground suffering from a broken leg, Frank jumped out of the car and began hitting his father in the head, chest, and neck with an ax, killing him, the Roanoke Times reports.
During police questioning, Frank said, “The world would be a better place without my dad in it,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Frank’s lawyers had argued that the former Capital One project manager suffered from mental health issues and paranoid delusions and should be sent for treatment instead of to prison, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Chesterfield Circuit Judge David E. Johnson had postponed the sentencing from its original date of Jan. 17 to fully review the case and determine whether he should be sent to prison or not.
After weighing testimony from defense experts, he concluded that Frank should be sent to prison.
“This court finds the defendant’s detailed delusions that his father wanted a mercy killing by an ax is not reliably substantiated by the evidence,” Johnson said, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. “If the defendant viewed his acts as a mercy killing, he extended very little mercy.”
Frank’s actions on the day of the murder, “intentionally running down Mr. and Mrs. Altimari with his car, striking his father 43 times with an ax, belies the contention that he was delusional at the time of the murder,” he said.
Frank’s lawyer, Ali J Amirshahi told PEOPLE: “While Frank Altimari and I are disappointed by the judge’s decision, we respect it. Clearly, the judge gave a lot of thought and reviewed all the evidence before coming to this decision. I was surprised that the mental health evidence that was presented didn’t play a greater role in the decision – both mental health experts testified that the only reason this occurred was mental illness, specifically, psychosis. Proving insanity is nearly impossible in Virginia. We believed that mental health evidence as mitigation at sentencing was the best way to achieve a reasonable sentence. The court went above the sentencing guidelines despite hearing evidence that this act was driven solely by mental illness. Frank continues to love his father and stepmother. The whole case is a tragedy – including Frank spending the next 30 years in prison. We will ask the judge to reconsider his decision soon.”Calls for comment to the prosecutors were not immediately returned.