When domestic violence crimes occur, a number many peoples' lives can be affected. Unfortunately, some domestic violence acts can be so serious that lives are lost. Recently, Komo News reported the story of a fatal stabbing that took place in Federal Way, Washington. There are several factors to this case noteworthy. Perhaps the most obvious and surprising fact of the case is that the suspect is a woman.
The news outlet reports that Eric Winters was fatally stabbed in early July at his home in Federal Way. Police's chief suspect is his wife, Bonita O'Neil, who is currently being held without bail at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington while an investigation takes place. She is facing charges of second degree murder. Police state that this case is unique because, while they often see knives involved in domestic violence cases, very rarely is the woman the perpetrator.
This case is also interesting because police are yet to discover the specifics surrounding the crime nor have they determined a motive. The defendant, O'Neil, stated that the incident was simply an unfortunate accident that occurred when her husband snuck up behind her while she was cutting chicken. The defendant's 17-year-old son allegedly also told law enforcement that the stabbing resulted from an accident while he was trying to break up a fight between the two. Others believe that this was not an innocent accident. Winters' ex-girlfriend and mother of his seven-year-old daughter told police that O'Neil likely committed the crime in "a jealous rage".
While investigators still have a lot of work do sorting out what really happened and why, this case demonstrates how anyone can be charged with a domestic violence crime. From an outsider's perspective this may look like an accident; the family had no history of domestic violence and the defendant called 911 as soon as the accident occurred. However, law-enforcement will almost always look into the domestic violence possibility in these types of crime. For this reason, it is essential to contact a defense attorney if you are facing domestic violence charges in Washington. Even if you are innocent, it is important to understand your rights and the charges you are facing.