After threatening to kill his wife for years, Michael Finn, 46, carried out his deadly promise to his wife, Kristen, on Mother’s Day, in front of their daughter and a sheriff’s deputy.
The Polk County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department had already been called to the scene for reported domestic violence. When the deputy arrived, Michael Finn, brandishing a knife, was chasing his terrified wife on foot toward a neighbor’s house. Before the deputy could intervene, Finn fatally stabbed his wife.
The deputy managed to cuff Finn, and then tried to revive the wounded wife. However, Kristin Finn, 34, later died at a local hospital. The victim had a total of 11 stab wounds. She was stabbed eight times in the back, once in the chest, and two times on the left arm. The majority of her injuries took place before authorities arrived.
“We heard him stabbing her to death on that 911 tape,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Her last words were, ‘I’m dying, I’m dying.’ ”
Kristen had been on the patio with their eldest daughter when Michael and Kristen began to argue. The fight between the two began to escalate, and Michael threw a baseball at his wife, then punched the woman in the face with a closed fist. Kristen and the daughter ran, contacting law enforcement, and it was then that Michael, who had gotten a knife out of the kitchen, charged his wife, stabbing her repeatedly in front of his daughter.
The death of Kristin Finn, said Sheriff Judd, was violent, and the mother left behind a total of four children.
“The violent death this mother suffered is unthinkable. But the fact that the murder occurred in front of a child during Mother’s Day weekend is horrific. Michael Finn is in jail where he belongs and we will work to ensure he never leaves and never get another chance to victimize innocent people.”
Finn was charged with first-degree murder and violating probation.
He was on probation after a 2013 conviction for making threats, court records showed, and his rap sheet includes arrests for battery on a law enforcement agent and domestic violence assault.
Opal Harris, Kristen’s mother, says that Kristen and Michael had been separated since his last arrest in 2013, which was related to domestic violence charges. But three months ago, after a stay in a rehabilitation center, Finn moved back in with his family.
“She was trying to make it work for the children,” Opal explained, and said that everything between the two was going fine until last Thursday, when Michael began using drugs and drinking again.
Opal did her best to protect her daughter.
“Just all of a sudden, the last two days Michael decided he was drinking and doing drugs and I made phone calls to the proper authorities and nothing happened,” Opal said, and stated that she left several messages, but never heard back from anyone.
“Somebody dropped the ball… had they done something maybe my daughter still be alive.”
Opal and her husband Richard are now grieving parents, but, even through their grief, they hope that women in a situation similar to their daughter’s will listen.
“If he comes up and tells you how ‘I’ve changed… I’m not like that anymore… I won’t do that again,’ don’t believe it,” Richard Harris said.
“Don’t let them hit you, don’t let him do stuff to you, don’t let them say ‘oh I’ll never do it again… I’ll change’ because he doesn’t change — it never ends,” Opal Harris added.
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[Image via WTSP]