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Man Gets 25 Years For Killing Wife He Thought Was HIV+

Eugene Maraventano

As the man who murdered his wife and adult son takes a plea bargain, important questions remain unanswered. 

In 2013, Eugene Maraventano says he killed his wife because he believed she’d contracted HIV — from him. He then went on to kill their young adult son, because Maraventano claimed, he worried about the guy's future.

A month ago, 67-year-old Maraventano pled guilty to second-degree murder in the deaths of Janet and Bryan Adam Maraventano, in exchage for a combined sentence of 25 years in prison.

Even as the plea agreement was finalized this week, disturbing questions remain. Chief among them may be whether Maraventano himself is even HIV-positive. According to the Associated Press, Maraventano told investigators he "may" have contracted HIV while frequenting sex workers during the couple's 25-year marriage.

According to Phoenix New Times, his wife had gotten sick before her death, and when cancer was ruled out, Maraventano believed he had transmitted HIV to her. After several weeks of plotting a murder-suicide, Maraventano put his plan in action, stabbing his wife twice, while she was sleeping. He then went into his son’s bedroom to do the same, because, he told police, his son played video games all day and had no girlfriend or job.

After murdering his family, Maraventano made several attempts to commit suicide. First, the New Times reports, he tried to suffocate himself with a plastic bag, then he put a knife handle against the wall and jammed the blade into his chest.

Maraventano was in the house with the bodies for four days before calling police, telling a 911 operator, “I killed my wife and I killed my son. I can’t kill myself.”

When the authorities arrived, he was covered with blood and suffering from chest wounds. His wife and son were found in their bedrooms. 

At the time of the killings, Maraventano was found to be incompetent to stand trial and he was sent to a state hospital. After he was released this September, Maraventano was charged with the murders.  

In the plea deal, he pled guilty to two second-degree murders. An earlier attempt at a plea deal fell through when Maraventano flip-flopped on details of the story, and refused to sign off on the plea agreement.

At that time he also claimed the autopsy photos were staged.

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