A former Naples man accused of killing his wife in Phoenix is now charged with first-degree murder after his stepson's testimony bolstered the case.
Anthony Rinaldi, 26, of Phoenix, who was arrested on a second-degree murder charge Dec. 13, faces life in prison if convicted of the first-degree murder charge involving Amanda Blaies-Rinaldi, 28.
Blaies-Rinaldi attended Barron Collier High School and worked for years at Tommy Bahamas in Naples and Roy's Hawaian Fusion restaurant in Bayfront.
Rinaldi, a Marine who said he "snapped" due to post-traumatic stress disorder, remains jailed and also faces a disorderly conduct charge. The couple met 2½ years ago in Naples. Blaies obtained a restraining order against him last year.
The Maricopa District Attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening, but court records show Rinaldi is set to be in court today for a status conference and a preliminary hearing Dec. 27.
"Aidan's testimony changed it," said Tori Anderson, Blaies' best friend and godmother to Blaies' 7-year-old son, who made the 911 call to police as three shots were fired. "He's our brave, brave little boy."
Anderson has set up a foundation to help Blaies' mother, Pamela, care for Aiden and his 1½-year-old brother, Anthony Rinaldi Jr. Donations can be taken to any Florida Community Bank location or mailed directly to FCB, c/o Blaiesing Heart for Amanda Blaies, 2400 N. Tamiami Trail #100, Naples, FL 34103. Checks also can be delivered to Anderson at Planet Hair, across the street from the bank.