PLAINFIELD, N.J. — Authorities say a man fatally stabbed his ex-wife at the home they shared in New Jersey.

Union County prosecutors say 56-year-old Eric Beale is charged with murder and weapons offenses in the death of 56-year-old Marlene Martin. Her body was found around 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the backyard of their Plainfield home after someone asked police to check on her welfare.

Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say Beale was quickly identified as a suspect in the slaying and was arrested without incident a short time later. He was being held in custody pending his initial court appearance, which prosecutors say will be held later this week.

It wasn’t known Monday if Beale has retained an attorney. He could face a life sentence if he’s convicted.

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