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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge

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Hasbrouck Heights Homeowner, 83, Charged With Killing Tenant

John C. Wisse talks with his attorney, Robert Galantucci.
John C. Wisse talks with his attorney, Robert Galantucci. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

A defense attorney this afternoon entered a not-guilty plea for an 83-year-old Hasbrouck Heights man who authorities said killed his 58-year-old tenant with a single gunshot to the chest during an argument over the weekend.

John C. Wisse was formally charged in a Hackensack courtroom with aggravated manslaughter and illegal weapons possession in the death of Gerald Velardi Jr. at his two-family Passaic Street home late Saturday afternoon.

Several of Velardi's relatives and friends attended the brief hearing, as did a man who was with Wisse and conferred with defense attorney Robert Galantucci.

Sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that Wisse -- who didn't say anything in court today -- called 911 around 5 p.m. Saturday to report the shooting.

The .38-caliber handgun was recovered, authorities said.

Wisse returned to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained held on $750,000 bail, after today's hearing.

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