WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A man accused of stabbing his wife to death at their Waterbury home was arraigned Thursday.
Waterbury police officers responded to an assault complaint near the intersection of Willow Street and Roseland Avenue around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers found Moesha Watson Panton, 24, lying in the road with visible injuries, including large cuts to her neck, wrist, and multiple other wounds, according to police. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police found Watson Panton’s husband, Ainsley Panton, 28, inside their condo on Willow Street. Officers arrested and charged Panton with murder and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.
Police said they found a machete and two knives inside the home.
“They went over and realized she was suffering from multiple stab wounds,” Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said. “They rendered aid and called police to the scene.”
The couple’s three-year-old and five-year-old children were home when Watson Panton was killed, police said. Both children were not injured but were taken to Waterbury Hospital for evaluation and placed into the custody of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Two other children lived at the home but were at school when the incident happened, according to police. Along with DCF, police say counselors have been called in.
“It is really difficult to determine. You can really change the trajectory of their life. This is very traumatic to them seeing a loved one, especially a parent engaged in domestic violence,” Spagnolo said. “Whether they’re the victim or the perpetrator, it’s just a terrible situation, our hearts go out to those kids and we are going to work with DCF and the city’s administration to support them as much as we can.”
Investigators are working to determine why Tuesday’s domestic violence incident began.
“There is too much going on in this world that people can’t cope and this is the last solution,” neighbor Sherrie Ploof told News 8. “It’s going to be traumatic to get through something like this, especially if they were in the house and saw what happened. I feel for these kids, I really do.”
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) said more than half of the murders last year involving domestic violence happened in front of children six years old or younger.
“This is becoming more and more ‘normal.’ Just this past year, we’ve had the highest number of children that have witnessed incidences like this,” said Meghan Scanlon, CEO of CCADV.
It has become such a problem that the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence has asked lawmakers for more money this legislative session.
“To request more funding for this exact position, knowing that more children were being impacted especially over the pandemic than we were getting to,” Scanlon said.
Panton was arraigned Thursday in the hospital, where he was being treated for a heart condition he suffered during Tuesday’s incident. Police said Panton is now in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Corrections with his bond set at $3 million.