Richard Hanson, a 64-year-old man from Newton, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder during his arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court on Thursday. Hanson has been held without bail since his initial arraignment in Newton District Court last month. The case was transferred to the Superior Court after a grand jury indicted Hanson on August 17.
According to prosecutors, Hanson is accused of assaulting his wife, Nancy Hanson, 54, on July 15 while their children were present. One of their sons called 911, reporting that he believed his father was hitting his mother with a baseball bat. Nancy Hanson’s friend, who was on the phone with her at the time, also called 911 and heard the sound of children screaming, “Dad, stop, you’re killing her.”
When officers arrived at the scene, Richard Hanson was found in the driveway with blood spatter on his clothes and body. He allegedly made statements indicating that his wife was cheating on him and expressed disbelief at his actions. Nancy Hanson was discovered lying unconscious on the floor of one of their son’s bedrooms, bleeding from her head. A bloody baseball bat and barbell were found nearby.
Nancy Hanson was rushed to a local hospital but later succumbed to her injuries. Prior to the incident, she had obtained a restraining order against Richard Hanson, alleging that he had taken her belongings and refused to return them. She also accused him of denying her access to family finances and misusing funds meant for their children.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan stated that police had been attempting to serve the restraining order when the fatal attack occurred.
Richard Hanson’s attorney, Arthur Kelly, declined to comment on the arraignment.