An elderly Castor Gardens man accused of murdering his 74-year-old wife was scheduled to be in court today for a preliminary hearing, but the case was continued until Aug. 6 at the request of the defense attorney.
Louis Hartdegen, 75, faces murder, indecent assault and abuse of a corpse charges. He also is charged with making a false report to authorities.
Police said Hartdegen had told them a neighbor broke into the second-floor apartment on the 6700 block of Castor Ave. that he shared with his wife, Judith, and attacked both of them.
Hartdegen met officers answering his 911 call shortly before 3 a.m. on May 6, police said, and told them his wife was in her bedroom. Officers found the wife and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said she had been beaten and suffocated.
Police questioned the neighbor Hartdegen had accused, but pieces of the elderly man’s story didn’t add up, Capt. James Clark, chief of the homicide unit, said May 7. Police confronted Hartdegen with what Clark called inconsistencies in his story and he confessed. The neighbor, who was never arrested, was released.
Clark wouldn’t say why the man attacked his wife of 53 years.
Hartdegen is being held in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road. ••