A Connecticut man who allegedly killed his wife and her eight-month unborn child is facing charges for just one murder this week.
NBC Connecticut reports Patrick Antoine, 39, of Norwich, Connecticut, turned himself into police on Thursday after allegedly stabbing his pregnant wife to death and setting their apartment on fire. His wife, Mady, was eight months pregnant with a girl who also died in the incident, Norwich Police said.
Police charged Antoine with murder for the death of his wife and first-degree arson, the report states. Authorities could not charge him with two murder counts because Connecticut is one of the few states that does not recognize unborn babies as victims of violence. Currently, 37 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
At eight months of pregnancy, Mady Antoine’s unborn daughter would have been viable outside the womb. According to an earlier report, Mady’s family and friends threw her a baby shower last week. They said she was due in July.
The report has more details about the alleged crime:
According to police court documents, Antoine and Mady were in a verbal argument the morning of the murder and fire. When Mady walked out of the kitchen, Antoine said he grabbed a wooden handle steak knife and put it in his pajama pocket, documents said.
Antoine told police he thought his wife was a Voodoo priestess who had cast several spells on him over the last couple of years. The suspect also said his wife had told him he’d be dead by July as a sacrifice prior to her child being born.
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Police said that Antoine did not believe Mady was pregnant with his child.
According to the report, police found Mady unconscious in their burning home. Authorities said she was pronounced dead at the scene. The report does not indicate whether her unborn daughter died immediately in the incident or soon after.
Pregnant women face high levels of domestic violence in the United States. One in six women is first abused during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Sometimes the abuse occurs after the woman refuses her partner’s demands to have an abortion, as it did with a Pennsylvania case in 2015.
Earlier this month, LifeNews reported another gruesome murder case involving a North Carolina woman who allegedly was murdered by her boyfriend after refusing to abort their child.
And in March, a Brooklyn, New York man was sentenced to 32 years in prison for a similar case. A jury found Torey Branch, 35, guilty of abortion, burglary and assault for beating his pregnant girlfriend and causing the death of their unborn child, LifeNews reported.