UPDATE: 29-year-old Barry Wells who allegedly strangled his wife Tonie in December was arraigned for second-degree murder charges on Thursday. Wells confessed to the murder but plead not guilty during the hearing. He claimed the confrontation with his late wife began over his adultery and her decision to live in a shelter. Tonie reportedly filed an order of protection aganst Wells.
During the hearing, the New York Daily News reports the young woman’s family was visibly devastated and enraged by their loved ones’ death and hurled insults at Wells.
Wells is expected to return to court on March 14.
Original Story: A recently pregnant Brooklyn mother was found strangled and bruised at the bottom of a basement stairwell on Wednesday morning. The New York Post reports that officers who were called to the home in Crown Heights earlier that day, completely abandoned their duty to ensure her safety.
The sister of 22-year-old Tonie Wells called police after the young woman said she was afraid of her 29-year-old husband and he’d been “acting funny.” There were also several 911 calls from neighbors who heard loud arguing and Wells’ 2-year-old child crying. A neighbor also heard Wells’ screaming, “he’s going to kill me.”
But the cops responding to the initial call only drove to the home. Rather than ensuring the safety of the frightened woman, they sat in their car.
After discovering her body on Wednesday, cops suspect her husband Barry was responsible for his wife’s death. They believe he pushed her down the stairwell. He has been arrested and interrogated by police. The Post notes cops were called to respond to a domestic violence complaint from the woman before Wednesday. Wells was arrested in late September for strangling his wife. In November, Wells, who was then eight months pregnant suffered a miscarriage after another domestic altercation.
The officers who failed to properly respond to Wednesday’s call have been suspended. The Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting an investigation into the cops.
“These cops completely s**tcanned the job,” an anonymous source told the Post. “They didn’t even go up to the house. If they did, they would have seen her.”