Man gets 15-30 years for killing his wife after she killed his son

BRENTWOOD, N.H. - A New Hampshire man was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison Friday for beating his wife to death with a flashlight after he came home to find she had strangled their 4-year-old son with a ribbon and tried to kill their 7-year-old daughter.

Christopher Smeltzer, 39, pleaded guilty to killing Mara Pappalardo, who was hospitalized several times for mental illness.

Prosecutors say she was paranoid, obsessed with death and convinced her husband and mother-in-law were plotting to take her children away.

“When I walked into the room, as soon as I saw my son, I knew something was very wrong,” Smeltzer told the court before he was sentenced, his voice breaking at times. “I knew he was dead. And I lost all control. Enraged, I struck my wife. I did something that was not going to bring my son back.”

Smeltzer was charged with second-degree murder in the November 2010 killing at their Auburn home. Prosecutors later downgraded that to manslaughter, saying he was provoked by the sight of the still bodies of their son, Mason, and daughter, Mercey.

He arrived home Nov. 7 to find Mason with a ribbon around his neck and Mercey with a scarf around hers. He thought both were dead. Pappalardo tied a blue rope around her own neck in an attempt to kill herself, although prosecutors said she died from both strangulation and Smeltzer hitting her in the head with the flashlight.

Smeltzer did not call police. Instead, he snipped the ribbon off Mason’s neck and removed the scarf from Mercey’s. Then he took all the pills he could find — painkillers, sleeping aids and methadone — and lay down on the couch to die.
He was awakened the next morning by Mercey, who asked if her mother and brother were breathing and requested a cup of tea. He made her one, then called his father and police dispatchers.
Smeltzer, who was wearing handcuffs Friday, wept while talking about how much he misses his son. “I miss my wife as well,” he said. "I miss Mara’s smile and heart and the way she played with our children."
He apologized to her family. “I brought more pain and sorrow,” he said, adding he wishes every day he had a rewind button.
Judge Tina Nadeau said if Smeltzer earns a college degree and completes anger management behind bars, his minimum sentence would be reduced to 10 years.
Totally unfair punishment IMO.

That’s horrible. Imagine being the cop entering the house and seeing the whole family on that state. I would’ve been scarred for life.

Worth it.
Bitch got what she deserved.
The guy needed a better lawyer arguing in defense of the children and temp insanity.

He got what he deserved. :coffee:

I’d have caved her skull in to. It’s to bad he tried to kill himself after it was over tho.

I hope the bitch suffered.

This is one of those things that’s so heavy, I can’t even begin to judge it rationally. On the one hand, if the law doesn’t have some kind of consequence for beating somebody to death with a flashlight, then that’s pretty fucked up.

On the other hand, who wouldn’t flip their shit if they came home to find their wife in the process of murdering their children?

I wonder how they will spend their Christmas together

the misogynists haven’t posted yet, but i find myself agreeing with good mourning there has to be a punishment for murdering somebody, no matter how justified. a society of vigilantes will degenerate into anarchy.

in this situation, the murder was pretty understandable. the guy shouldn’t receive such a heavy sentence, perhaps he should be put into one of those white collar prisons.

Regretting coming into this topic. This is really depressing.

2011 trying to go hard in the last stretch

The husband was really probably trying to take the kids away so the crazy mother wouldn’t kill them all, but he was too late and she killed them all.

I hate reading depressing stories like this.


15-30 years for killing a bitch that killed my son? fuck it

he can get out in 10 if he gets a college degree and does anger management class while in jail too? not a bad deal for him in the end (minus the whole dead son thing)

yeah its gonna suck tho cause his son dead…u gonna be in jail the whole time thinking bout it to that u got no one to go to when u get out. i don’t blame the guy for what he did…i just hope dudes ok when he out the penn


These are the kinds of situations where it is impossible to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I mean, wow…

fucking ruining my weekend… this is some sad shit. I dont know how to react because I can feel for the husband but at the same time the act of murder is not justified no matter how horrific the crime. This is how I feel about the subject because I’ve never been thru anything like this.

Should have killed the judge.

Putting him away doesn’t do anything (don’t think you can be a repeat offender with something like this), the only solace that guy has is that his daughter isn’t dead, and that daughter basically lost her dad.