Now and then I have a temper and when I get mad my husband usually prefers not to be around me but I bet after hearing this story he won’t even want to be in the same house as I am.

I am sure 80 year old Robert MacKenzie would have felt the same way about his wife had he known what was going to happen during a fight with her on Thursday. Marlene MacKenzie, 76 hurled a cocktail glass at him and hit him in the head during a heated argument. Authorities say she claims she thought her husband had been cheating on her.

The glass thrown was described as a rock glass tumbler with a heavy bottom. Essex Count assistant prosecutor, Peter Guarino, said the woman feared her extremely ill husband was having an affair and had just wakened from a nightmare when the assault happened. “The motive was that she thought he was cheating on her, which may not be found on reality,” Guarino said. “We have not found any evidence of it.”

When police showed up at their North Caldwell, New Jersey two-story home they found Robert MacKenzie slumped in a chair over the kitchen counter. Police Chief Joseph Clark said he had bruises and a head injury. They said he wasn’t breathing so they rushed him to University Hospital where he died about 18 hours later at 10:30 pm. The cause of death has been ruled as blunt force trauma according to the Medical Examiner.

Marlene MacKenzie has been arrested on charges of aggravated assault but they expect that to be upgraded to reckless manslaughter. After she was arrested though they had to take her to Mountainside Hospital for observation because of a heart condition she has. Police say they thought she had been drinking, but they weren’t sure how much, the night of the argument. “We wanted to make sure her level would not result in medical issues,” Clark said.

When she was released from the hospital she was taken to North Caldwell police station where she was formally charged and then released on a $20,000 bail.

According to their neighbors they all claimed that the Mackenzie’s were a quiet elderly couple who had some health problems but lived independently in a spacious home where they had raised their children. “They were wonderful people,” said one neighbor, Armando Diaz that lives across the street from the Mackenzie’s. Some of the neighbors say that Robert MacKenzie suffered from ill health and his wife was hard of hearing but there were never any problems on the quiet hilly block.

Jan Barrett

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