In what must rank as one of the most bizarre and gruesome murders in a city with a long history of horrific murders, New York City woman Ashleigh Wade is accused of methodically murdering her childhood friend Angelikque Sutton on the very day that Sutton was set to be married. The motive for the chilling murder, according to prosecutors — to steal her friend’s unborn baby.
Sutton, the daughter of a church bishop, was nine months pregnant at the time of the slaying on November 20, 2015. She was on her way to marry boyfriend Patrick Bradley at a New York courthouse when she stopped by Wade’s house in the Wakefield neighborhood of Bronx, New York City. The friends had formed a close bond in recent months as they both went through pregnancies at the same time, according to the New York City news site DNAInfo.
There was only one problem. Wade was not really pregnant. She falsely told her friends and family that she was expecting a child and even spread the word of her pregnancy on her Facebook page, according to a New York Daily News report. Her plan, it now appears, was to rip her friend’s baby from the womb and claim that it was hers.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) September 26, 2017
In fact, when police showed up at Wade’s home about a half-hour after the murder, they found the baby swaddled in a coat lying on the roof of a car, with Wade adamantly insisting that the newborn was her own child. She even appears to have fooled her own boyfriend, who was seen on surveillance video prior to the arrival of the police cradling the baby and believing that he was the father.
The baby, a girl, survived and is now a healthy toddler named Jenasis.
Wade’s trial opened on Monday in New York, and her attorneys reportedly plan an insanity defense. But prosecutors provided the jury with bone-chilling details of the sickening murder, telling the jurors that Wade deliberately stabbed her friend in the neck to kill her, carefully avoiding causing any injury to Sutton’s abdomen and, as a result, the baby.
In fact, she methodically slit Sutton’s throat, severing her larynx in order to make sure that she could not scream if she remained alive as Wade proceeded to cut out her baby.
“What the defendant did to her next is almost unspeakable,” Assistant District Attorney Meredith Holtzman told the jurors on Monday.
“After she had rendered Ms. Sutton unable to scream, unable to move, the defendant took a kitchen paring knife and sliced Ms. Sutton’s abdomen open. Once she had Ms. Sutton’s abdomen open, she cut Ms. Sutton’s uterus entirely out,” the prosecutor recounted.
“She cut that uterus open, took baby Jenasis out, and discarded that uterus on the bathroom floor,” Holtzman told jurors.
— Ksley8 (@KonnieMoments1) September 26, 2017
Jurors at the trial saw pictures not only of Sutton’s brutalized body, but also of her uterus which had been cut open and deflated on the bathroom floor in the home.
Wade’s defense lawyers also presented opening arguments to the jury, saying that Wade’s poor planning of the murder proves that she was legally insane at the time of the grisly killing.
“This trial is not so much about what happened but about why,” defense lawyer Amy Attias told the jury. “Was this an intentional murder with the goal of kidnapping this baby or did something else go wrong? This happened in Ms. Wade’s home where she was bound to be caught. If this was her plan, it was a pretty bad plan.”
[Featured Image by Pandora Box/Shutterstock]