A Montgomery County man beat his wife to death in front of their 7-year-old son after the couple got into a fight over a takeout- food order, authorities said yesterday.

Joseph Giongo, 44, was arrested yesterday along a road in Plymouth Township, not far from the Conshohocken home he shared with his wife, Bernadette, and their three sons.

Her body was found Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The 7-year-old, the couple's youngest son, told investigators that his father had become angry Saturday night over the takeout order and began "punching his mother in the mouth," Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

The boy tried to call for help, but Joseph Giongo ripped out the phone cord, locked the front door and continued hitting his wife, police said.

Bernadette Giongo, 42, told the boy, " 'I'm going to die. I love you,' " investigators said in court papers.

According to court documents recounting the boy's statement to police, Joseph Giongo at one point put on a pair of shoes, returned to his wife's body and "jumped on her stomach and face at the same time."

The two other sons, ages 10 and 18, were away for the night, Ferman said.

The oldest son returned home Sunday and said he called 911 after his father told him he had killed his mother and was leaving to turn himself in.

Ferman said that the couple had no history of domestic violence but that Joseph Giongo had recently spent time at a nearby state mental hospital.

Ferman said relatives had committed him because they feared he might hurt someone.

Giongo was arraigned yesterday on murder charges and taken to the Montgomery County jail.

It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney. *