Unsealed docs reveal more about man accused of killing estranged wife

Ellie Tran (Facebook photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Unsealed court documents have revealed new information about a Virginia Beach man accused of killing his estranged wife.

The documents contain information that fill the gaps of the evidence police collected at his home and business — and say connects him to his estranged wife’s death.

Prosecutors say Ellie Tran died a day after she was attacked in her driveway. Joseph Merlino III, her estranged husband, is accused of injecting her with cyanide on Valentine’s Day.

Related: Joseph Merlino III indicted on murder charges

The unsealed documents describe more of the evidence detectives found in the case.

Joseph V. Merlino (Photo: Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

10 On Your Side was there when the Virginia Beach SWAT team raided Merlino’s home on Warner Hall Drive. There, they found several guns, ammunition, gun parts, a Kevlar vest, camouflage helmet and a tactical vest.

According to the court documents, police also found multiple blue plastic containers will a number of chemical and substances.

Detectives also raided Merlino’s cell phone repair shop at the beach, and found a blue bottle with a white substance hiding in the walls.

The court documents say an FBI agent told police, “cyanide can come in powder form and in crystal form and can be mixed with liquid to be able to be injected using a needle.”

Related: VB woman killed on Valentine’s Day had protective order

The agent went to say that someone can do internet search to figure out how much cyanide is needed to kill a person.

Merlino is now scheduled to go to trial on January 24.