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5 Fast Facts

Brian Fanion: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know



Hampden District Attorney’s Office

Brian Fanion

Brian Fanion is a retired police detective in Westfield, Massachusetts, who is accused of murdering his wife while carrying on an extramarital affair.

Fanion told his law enforcement colleagues that his wife, Amy Fanion, had committed suicide by shooting herself in the head with his service weapon on May 8, 2018. But prosecutors said the evidence cast doubt on Fanion’s claim that his wife had killed herself.

The Hampden County Grand Jury indicted Fanion on a charge of first-degree murder on November 6, 2019. He was arrested and pleaded not guilty in Hampden Superior Court. The judge denied his request for bond and Fanion is due back in court on January 9, 2020.

Fanion’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Brown denies that his client had been cheating on his wife. Brown also says that Fanion’s two children, as well as their mother’s relatives, believe Fanion is innocent.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Brian Fanion Claims His Wife Shot Herself Amid an Argument Over His Upcoming Retirement

Brian Fanion went home for lunch during his break on May 8, 2018, according to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office. He told investigators that he and his wife Amy Fanion had an argument about his upcoming retirement plans.

Fanion claims Amy grabbed his service weapon after he temporarily walked out of the room. He says he saw her put the gun to her head and fire it. Fanion called 911 and said that his wife had shot herself. Amy was declared dead at the scene.

The Chief Medical Examiner determined that a gunshot wound had been the cause of death. But the manner of death was “left undetermined pending additional analysis.”

2. Prosecutors Argue That Physical Evidence Disputes the Notion That Amy Fanion Could Have Killed Herself

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The Hampden District Attorney’s Office explained in a news release that following Amy Fanion’s death, investigators thoroughly examined the scene of the shooting. Ballistic and pathology experts were involved in determining whether the case was a suicide. A search warrant was also granted to search through Brian Fanion’s digital devices.

Prosecutors explained during Fanion’s bail hearing that forensic tests, which took several months to complete, indicated that the shooting could not have been self-inflicted. They argued the shot came from at least 18 inches away; Brian Fanion claims that his wife put the weapon to her temple and fired. But prosecutors said that if that were true, Amy Fanion’s hair would have been singed.

Assistant District Attorney also said that prosecutors found suspicious searches on Fanion’s computer and phone. Investigators say Fanion had searched for information about how gunshot residue was analyzed, as well as searches on poisons.

3. Brian Fanion Denies Having an Affair & Insists the Woman In Question Was a Friend Of Both Him & His Late Wife

Brian Fanion is accused of beginning an extramarital affair a few weeks before Amy Fanion’s death. In court on November 7, prosecutors argued that Fanion’s desire to be with another woman served as motivation to kill his wife.

Assistant Hampden District Attorney Mary Sandstrom told Judge Frank Flannery during the bail hearing that the evidence showed that Fanion had been planning to leave Amy. The Assistant DA explained that Fanion’s Google searches had included information on how divorce impacted pension payments. He also was reportedly searching for an apartment in the area.

But Fanion has denied these claims. Defense attorney Jeff Brown argued in court that the alleged “other woman” was merely a friend of both Brian and Amy, MassLive reported. Brown also stressed that Amy Fanion had struggled with depression and had written about her emotional struggles in a diary.

4. Brian Fanion Joined the Westfield Police Department In 1985 & Retired In 2018

brian fanion

Brian Fanion worked on the police force in Westfield, Massachusetts for more than 30 years. According to his LinkedIn profile, Fanion joined the department in February of 1985.

At the time of his wife’s death, Fanion was working as a detective in the department’s evidence room, according to MassLive. He retired shortly after. A proposed budget document for the fiscal year 2019 suggests that Fanion received a salary of about $68,000. The document also lists a projected severance payment of about $23,000, which may have been part of his pension.

Prosecutors allege that Fanion killed his wife in order to avoid having to split his pension with her upon his retirement, in the case of a divorce.

5. Amy Fanion Volunteered at a Cancer Support Organization For Several Years Before Her Death

Amy Fanion was 51 years old when she died on May 8, 2018. Her obituary stated that she was survived by two children, Tori and Travis Fanion, and her “beloved husband” Brian Fanion. She was described by family members as a “kind, loving, selfless woman bringing a ray of sunshine full of Peace, Love and Joy to all who knew or needed her.”

Fanion was also described as an “avid volunteer happiest working behind the scenes in her community and church.” One of the places she volunteered was the Cancer House of Hope. The organization provides support services and programs to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, free of charge.

The organization shared Amy Fanion’s obituary to Facebook shortly after her death. The author of the post noted that Amy had been volunteering for the House for “many, many years” and had spent much of her time keeping the House’s library organized for its guests. The post added that Amy had spent her final weekend before her death working in the garden at the House.

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