Fatal Shooting Reminds Long-Time Maplewood Residents of 30-Year-Old Crime at Same Location

The shooting death of Altariq Brown at 1553 Springfield Avenue this past weekend remains under active investigation.

But while the motives and details of the current tragedy remain unknown to the public at this time, the news of a fatal shooting at the location reminded some of an crime at the same address more than 30 years ago.

On August 12, 1986, pizza shop owner Edward Potcher was shot at close range four times, resulting in his death. The man convicted of the shooting, Anthony DiFrisco, confessed to killing Potcher and said he was paid $2,500 by a man named Jack Franciotti to kill Potcher “because he was going to inform police about illegal activities by Franciotti,” according to a report by the Associated Press. Franciotti also forgave a $500 drug debt of DiFrisco’s as part of the agreement.

The New Jersey’s Supreme Court set aside DiFrisco’s death sentence in 2006. According to the Associated Press, “The successful appeal centered on complex procedural issues involving the type and timing of reviews afforded in capital cases.” DiFrisco is currently serving a life sentence.

Potcher’s widow Della died in 2016 at age 68 after moving from Maplewood to Westfield. For years, she was the owner of Del’s Card and Gift Shop and Mrs. Jack’s Pizzeria in Maplewood.

Anthony DiFrisco

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