GOODYEAR, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — A man stabbed his wife to death after he slapped one of their seven children for playing videogames and she confronted him about it, police said Friday.
Goodyear police said the children witnessed at least part of the Thursday night attack and a 14-year-old daughter called 911 to frantically plead for help.
The husband also called 911 after the attack, reportedly crying “hysterically,” apologizing and saying he’d lost his mind and stabbed his wife, police said in a court document.
The document identified the husband as 37-year-old John Leo Davis and the wife as Michele Davis. Police said she was 35.
Authorities say a son told investigators that the husband struck him after becoming upset with the boy for playing videogames, and the child then told his mother and she confronted the father, starting an argument. The children saw the husband then chase the wife with a knife from the kitchen to the front door, where police found her body in a pool of blood, the document said.
Investigators counted at least 13 stab wounds in her back, authorities said.
The husband was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and jailed on $2 million bond. He didn’t have a lawyer when he appeared before a judge.
He initially made “incriminating statements” but refused to speak with investigators after being arrested, the document said.
Police say none of the seven children present in the home were hurt and that they were immediately removed from the home and placed in the care of relatives. Their ages ranged from 3 to 14, police said.
The husband and wife were parents to three of the seven children who were present, while the husband is father to two others, and the wife was the mother to the remaining two, police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis said. Kutis said an eighth child, age 16, wasn’t home when the attack occurred.
The document said a law enforcement criminal history for the husband indicated he had several previous arrests in alleged domestic violence cases involving Michele Davis or a former spouse in at least two other states — Utah and California.
Each day, three women die because of domestic violence by a current or former male partner in the U.S., according to the National Network To End Domestic Violence. One in four women will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline.