Prosecutors say a man who fatally beat and stabbed his schoolteacher wife inside their northern New Jersey home has been convicted on murder charges.

Peter Shanley (Dumont Police Department)

Peter Shanley of Dumont faces life in prison after a Bergen County jury reached its verdict Wednesday. Their deliberations lasted less than six hours.

Defense lawyers had argued the 60-year-old Shanely was overwhelmed by passion provocation when he attacked Debra Shanley in April 2010 and deserved a lesser sentence. They claimed that in the months before the attack, his wife had unexpectedly joined a motorcycle club and began drifting away from him.

The couple had been married for 35 years and had two adult children.

Shanley will be sentenced March 22.

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