Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Racine, WI: Like a horror movie — Boyfriend charged in stabbing death

RACINE — The man accused of killing 27-year-old Gwynevere L. Wright made his initial appearance in court on Monday and was ordered held on a $750,000 cash bond.
Iryin Keth Vaughn, 25, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon, with causing mental harm to a child, and with two counts of felony bail jumping. In each count he was also charged as a repeat offender. If convicted on all charges he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison plus 49 years and six months, or a $45,000 fine, or both.
“This is the most serious crime that can be committed in the state of Wisconsin,” said Deputy District Attorney Rich Chiapete as he argued for a high cash bail during Vaughn’s court appearance. The scene inside the home at 900 Racine St. looked like something out of a slasher horror movie, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, blood had soaked through Wright’s clothing as well as the sheets, mattress, comforter and pillows on her bed. Blood spattered the walls, floor, windows, and door of the bedroom.
A police investigator saw Wright had been stabbed more than 25 times, and her hands showed the small cuts of someone trying to defend herself.
Wright’s 12-year-old son told police Wright and Vaughn were drinking beer about 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 with Wright consuming two beers and Vaughn three, the complaint said. Just before 10 p.m. the boy heard them arguing in Wright’s bedroom.
He heard Vaughn say, “I hate you. I don’t want to be with you anymore,” the complaint said. Wright said to Iryana, the 2-year-old daughter she had with Vaughn and who slept in the room with them, “Don’t ever date a man like this,” the complaint said.
Later the boy heard his mother yell, “Do it! Do it! Go ahead and kill me!” the complaint said.
Then the boy heard the sounds of fighting, and his mother screamed in pain, the complaint said.
After about five minutes Vaughn opened the door to the boy’s room and asked if he was asleep. Shortly thereafter the boy heard Vaughn leaving in his SUV, and when the boy opened the bedroom door he found his mother dead, the complaint said.
Vaughn took his daughter to Chicago, and an Amber Alert issued for him and the child led police to him there.
A foster parent with whom the 12-year-old was placed told a case worker from the Human Services Department that for almost two hours the boy chanted “I just wanted my mom to die a peaceful death,” and, “My mom will not see me grow up to be a teenager,” the complaint said.
Outside the hearing room Wright’s brother, Zachary Strother, said he had not heard the crime details which Chiapete told the court.
“It was just very heart-wrenching, very sad. No one don’t deserve that, not even my worst enemy,” he said. “She was treated like a animal.”
“It was hard to look at him, but I just know somehow some good is going to come out of this … I don’t know how, I don’t see it now, but I think some good will come out of this,” he said.
As he did at a vigil for his sister on Sunday, Strother said any woman in an abusive relationship should get help and leave it.
“Our hope and our prayer as a family was for her to just get a new start in life,” he said. “We didn’t know the perpetrator was going to come following here. We didn’t know. If we would have known that, we probably would have intervened a little bit more.”
Vaughn’s preliminary hearing, at which the state must show cause to hold him for trial, was scheduled for Feb. 23.

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