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EMT charged with posting photo of corpse on Facebook

  • Story Highlights
  • Mark Musarella, 49, facing charges of misdemeanor official misconduct
  • The woman was found strangled with a hair-dryer cord on Staten Island, New York
  • Lawyer: Musarella forgot photo was on camera phone when he uploaded pictures
  • Lawyer says EMT is "deeply sorry for any pain" incident has caused
From Kiran Khalid
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New York City emergency medical technician is facing misdemeanor charges after being accused of taking a picture of a female murder victim and then posting it to his Facebook page.

Mark Musarella, 49, was in court Thursday awaiting arraignment on charges of misdemeanor official misconduct. The retired New York Police detective is accused of posting the picture of a 26-year-old woman's corpse. The woman was found strangled with a hair-dryer cord March 30 on Staten Island, according to authorities, and a 28-year-old man has been charged in her death.

According to Musarella's lawyer, Edward J. Pavia Jr., the appearance of the photo on the social networking site was a technical mistake and not a morbid act. Pavia said years of working as a detective instinctively led Musarella to take the picture after he was called to the scene of the death.

"He's deeply sorry for any pain this incident has caused the family of the victim," Pavia told CNN by phone Thursday evening. "The posting of the photo was completely inadvertent, done completely by accident."

When asked how a photo could accidentally be posted to a Facebook page, Pavia said his client sent the photo along with many others on his camera phone without realizing it was still there.

"We will be able to prove very easily that this photo wasn't sent by itself, " said Pavia, adding that Musarella spent 20 years with the NYPD, and he was cited numerous times for honorable work.

Despite media reports that Musarella was fired from his job as an EMT at Richmond University Medical Center Hospital in Staten Island, Pavia insisted Musarella quit the job about three weeks ago.

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