‘Dad, stop, you’re killing her’: Newton man charged with murder in deadly attack on his wife

NEWTON, Mass — A Newton man is being charged with murder in the deadly attack on his wife in their Newton home. Prosecutors say the attack happened while their children were home, one of whom called the police pleading for help.

Richard Hanson, 64 is being charged with murder, assault, and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury in connection with the death of his wife, 54-year-old Nancy Hanson. He was held without bail at his arraignment.

At approximately 8:21 p.m. Saturday, Newton police received a 911 call from two people simultaneously, one being the couple’s son and the second being a friend of the victim who was on the phone at the time of the assault, the prosecutor said.

Prosecutors said that during the 911 call the juvenile son said that during the physical altercation, Richard Hanson struck his wife with a baseball bat.

According to prosecutors, the friend heard the phone drop followed by loud bangs, and the children were screaming, “Dad, stop, you’re killing her!”

Police arrived at the home on Brookline Street and found Nancy Hanson suffering from apparent blunt-force injuries. She was found lying on the floor of one of her children’s bedrooms with injuries to her head, officials said.

Prosecutors say Hanson attacked his wife with a baseball bat and a metal barbell with weights still on it. Boston 25 learned the victim had just requested a restraining order last week. Court records also indicate both Hanson and his wife had requested prior restraining orders on each other and both were arrested for ongoing domestic issues. The family next door told us they never saw an issue. “Makes us feel guilty at this point that we couldn’t have known that we could have offered some support at some point,” said a neighbor.

According to a police report, officers asked Hanson during the booking process how he felt and Hanson replied “depressed,” and that he “felt awful for his boys.” Two women in court for the case would not talk about what led up to the incident.

Officers found Richard Hanson outside the home with blood splatted on his body and clothes and indicated that his wife has been cheating on him, prosecutors say.

The Chief Medical Examiner has determined her cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

Nancy Hanson’s death follows the killings of three people in their Newton home last month. Jill and Bruno D’Amore and Jill’s mother, Lucia Arpino, were found stabbed and bludgeoned to death in their Broadway Street home on June 25. Christopher Ferguson, 41, of Newton, is facing murder charges in that case.

In a statement Sunday, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller called Saturday’s incident “another horrific tragedy in Newton.”

“I am writing this just three weeks after the tragic murders of Jill and Bruno D’Amore and Jill’s mother, Lucia Arpino,” Fuller said. “Our community is reeling, and I know so many of us are feeling unsettled. This is the time to reach out to family, friends, faith leaders, and mental health professionals rather than hunkering down and going it alone.”

The couple’s children have been taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Families, a DCF spokesperson told Boston 25 News.

Nancy Hanson died two days after a restraining order was issued against her husband on Thursday in Newton District Court, which Newton Police had been attempting to serve.

Hanson is being held without bail and is due back in court on August 16.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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