FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey police officer chased after his ex-wife and then gunned her down with his service weapon while their 7-year-old daughter was in his car, a grand jury alleged in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday.
Neptune Township Sgt. Philip Seidle was charged with murder, weapons offenses and child endangerment in the June 16 incident. If convicted of all the charges, he would face up to life in prison without parole.
The 51-year-old previously pleaded not guilty and remained held on $2 million bail.
Seidle was off duty and had his daughter in the front seat of his vehicle when he chased after a car driven by his ex-wife, Tamara, Monmouth County prosecutors said. Moments after the chase ended, he got out and fired his gun several times into her vehicle.
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Police officers who happened to be in the neighborhood for an unrelated traffic accident saw the shooting unfold and took the child from her father’s car uninjured.
Tamara Seidle, 51, was taken to a hospital, where she died a short time later.
After the shooting, prosecutors said, Phil Seidle pointed the gun at his head and held police at bay for about 30 minutes until they were able to persuade him to surrender.
The couple had nine children, ranging in age from 7 to 24, and their divorce was finalized in May.