Hearing postponed for man accused of beating 65-year-old wife to death with chair leg

For the second time in two weeks, health issues have prevented a 70-year-old Burbank resident accused of killing his wife with a chair leg from appearing in court today, officials said.

Joseph Brancato did not appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court Monday after officials said unspecified health issues prevented him from being moved from jail for a preliminary hearing.

Superior Court Judge Edmund Clarke said that due to the seriousness of the case, the extent of evidence discovery and the witnesses who could be called to testify, attorneys should balance those demands with Brancato’s medical problems.

Brancato’s public defender indicated her client would be better soon, prompting Clarke to reschedule the hearing to Wednesday.

On Aug. 17, Brancato appeared in court to plead not guilty to murdering his 65-year-old wife Marie Brancato. He is accused of beating her to death with a chair leg on July 5 at their home in the 800 block of North Valley Street.

His arraignment was originally scheduled for July 21, but his attorney requested more time. In July, Brancato was pushed into the courtroom on a wheelchair.

Court records show Brancato has a history of domestic violence dating to the 1980s.

He remains in custody in lieu of $1.02-million bail.

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