Man Whose Wife Was Trapped While Car Sank in Lake Charged With Murder

"We are pursuing this charge because of the husband’s reckless behavior," said Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell

<p>Goodyear Police Department </p> Anthony Joseph Maiorana

Goodyear Police Department

Anthony Joseph Maiorana

An Arizona man whose wife died after being trapped in a sinking car has been charged with murder.

According to a news release from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Anthony Joseph Maiorana was driving back from a baseball game with his wife Megan Maiorana, on Friday, March 22, when their car crashed into a lake.

Citing court documents, KTVK/KPHO reported that the car sank after it came upon a curve but failed to turn.

The car crashed into the curb and veered on the sidewalk and grass while "sliding and rotating." The vehicle's front passenger side then hit a concrete culvert and was airborne for roughly 100 feet before the car landed in the lake.

<p>dignity memorial</p> Megan Maiorana

dignity memorial

Megan Maiorana

Related: She Was Set to Be Executed in Daughter's Death. Now Prosecutors and Judge Say It Was Accident, Not Murder

Officers from the Goodyear Police Department responded to the scene after being notified of a "rapidly sinking" car and saw Anthony outside their vehicle "screaming that his wife was trapped inside," the county's attorney's office said in the release.

Witnesses allegedly told officers they "heard a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed followed by screaming."

"Tragically, despite multiple rescue attempts by officers and bystanders, they were unsuccessful in getting the defendant’s wife out of the vehicle," their news release adds, noting that Anthony's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.

Stock image of a lake
Stock image of a lake

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He was charged with one count of second-degree murder. According to a news release from the Goodyear Police Department, he was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and also charged with a reckless manslaughter felony, and multiple misdemeanors: extreme DUI, reckless driving, and DUI for liquor/drugs/vapors.

His bail was set at $150,000, KTVK/KPHO reports. He claimed during his court appearance that he takes bipolar medication.

"Anthony Joseph Maiorana, on or about March 22, 2024, without premeditation, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death and thereby did cause the death of Megan Maiorana," his indictment reads.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell issued a statement commending "the brave citizens and officers in this situation who attempted to save this victim’s life."

Getty Stock image of a court gavel
Getty Stock image of a court gavel

Her statement continued, "We are pursuing this charge because of the husband’s reckless behavior."

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According to KTVK/KPHO, Anthony and Megan were married for nine years. Family members who spoke to the outlet remembered her as a good friend and a lover of Arizona.

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