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Murder charges against Lodi man in shooting death of grandmother, 85

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An 85-year-old Lodi woman who authorities said was shot several times by her grandson as she lay sleeping on her living-room couch died nearly two weeks ago, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli revealed tonight.

Molinelli disclosed the death of Olga Bariso in announcing that charges had been upgraded to murder against Joseph Bariso, who was arrested hours after the Dec. 29 shooting.

“Olga Bariso was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center where she survived for nearly two weeks,” Molinelli said in a news release issued at 6 p.m. “She ultimately succumbed to her injuries on January 11, 2014.

“An autopsy was subsequently performed by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office which determined the manner of death to be homicide.”

Bariso was kept on life support following surgery after the shooting, a family friend told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.

“They were hoping for a miracle. It all hinged on the first 24-48 hours after surgery to see about swelling,” he said. “But there was to much damage. She lost an eye.

“She was taken off life support at 9:30 p.m. [the 11th] and  the wake was last Friday at Alesso [Funeral Home] in Lodi,” he said.

Her funeral was the next day.

“The sad part is that her husband [Joseph], who has dementia, thought she fell,” the friend added. “[I don’t know] if he will ever know that she died.”

Joseph Bariso, who originally was jailed on attempted murder, illegal weapons and hindering offenses, will be brought back to court tomorrow for a first appearance on the upgraded charge, the prosecutor said.

Bariso, 28, remained held on $2.1 million bail.

Authorities issued an all-points bulletin for the younger Bariso after his grandmother was shot around 6 a.m. Dec. 29. Rutherford police found him walking along Rutherford Avenue several hours later.

Molinelli’s detectives charged the 5-foot-9-inch, 140-pound bearded Bariso after a long day of interviewing him and collecting evidence. The prosecutor said they believe he found the gun in the house and then ditched it afterward.

Joseph Bariso lives in a basement apartment of the house at 141 Union Street owned by his grandmother and grandfather, the family friend told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . One of the Barisos’s two sons, Charles, also lives there, he said.

Their other son got a call from Charles that morning telling him that their mother had been shot but was conscious when taken to the hospital, the friend said.

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