MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The man accused of brutally murdering the mother of his child in Ansonia had his first court appearance Thursday.

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Andre LeFrancois, 22, appeared via video link to be arraigned on a murder charge in the slaying of his son’s mother, 20-year-old Rosali Acquefreda.

Acquefreda’s family says she was a domestic violence victim who almost made it out, starting a new life with a loving man. But that fresh start ended before it truly began.

“My daughter suffered for over five years with this man. And I tried doing as much as I can. And being that they had a child together it made things really hard and difficult but all I can say is she’s free now,” said Melissa Acquefreda, Rosali’s mother.

She’s finally at peace, but her family says Acquefreda suffered until the end, when she was stabbed to death by her ex, the father of her 3-year-old son. She was found lying on an Ansonia street Sunday.

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LeFrancois was in Milford lockup when he appeared before a Superior Court Judge who upheld his $750,000 bond. 

He was ordered to have no contact with his son, and showed little emotion.

Outside court, loved ones of his victim expressed their pain.

“He’s an evil person. And I’m going to leave it at that. I love you, Rosi, and we’re going to be strong for you and get justice for you,” said the victim’s boyfriend, Christian Federici.

Federici said he tried to protect Rosali, and will continue trying to protect her son. The family alluded to a possible brewing custody dispute with LeFrancois’ family.

“He has a lot of love and support and it’s in God’s hands now. Everybody pray that [Acquefreda and LeFrancois’s son] will be with the family that loves him,” said her mother.