MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Four years after Tina Caronna was murdered her husband is finally on trial. Joe Caronna is accused of asphyxiating his wife; Tina's body was found in the backseat of the couple's SUV in October 2008.
Joe Caronna sat quietly inside a Shelby County courtroom as the first witnesses in his first degree murder trial took the stand. He and his 44-year-old wife had been married for 15 years.
"They were always holding hands," said Tina's friend, Pat Hathaway. "Tina would always say she loved him."
But Hathaway also testified that Tina said her husband was possessive and extremely controlling, never letting his wife out of his sight. Hathaway says the lack of freedom left Tina frustrated.
"She just sometimes wanted to be by herself, do some things on her own, shop, have some alone time."
Hathaway talked to Tina Caronna on the telephone the morning of Saturday, October 25, 2008, which was the day she disappeared. "In the background I could hear Joe being angry," she said.
That was the last time she would talk to her friend. Hathaway says after Tina didn't show up for a party later that day she became concerned. So she, her husband and Joe went looking for her.
"We went down Highway 64, 385, I-40, Costco, stores she frequented," Hathaway stated. "I asked Joe a couple of times that night when we were driving around we should probably go to the police department and report her missing. He didn't want to at that time."
Caronna eventually filed a missing persons report around 11:30p.m. Two days later Tina's black Chevy Avalanche was found in Bartlett. Her body was found inside.
Hathaway said when Caronna got the news at the couple's Cordova home, "He was very mad and upset… there was a glass bowl with marbles in it and a candle and he shoved in on the floor and glass went flying everywhere."