A Northampton County man has been ordered to stand trial on homicide charges in the killing of his wife in Monroe County more than a decade ago.

Edward Yale was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. He stands accused of killing his wife, Joan Litts-Yale, inside the couple's home on Mount Nebo Road in Middle Smithfield Township in March 2001.

Litts-Yale, 61, was found at the bottom of the basement steps. An autopsy at the time showed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma, but the manner of death remained undetermined.

The case was presented to a Monroe County grand jury, which recommended that Edward Yale be charged in his wife's death, which has since been ruled a homicide.

The victim's son and brother both told police that Yale had been verbally abusive to her during the months before she died, according to court documents.

Yale, who now lives at 321 Bray St. in Bangor, Northampton Co., faces charges of homicide and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.