Admitted killer: Ashleigh Wade at Bronx State Supreme court, Jan. 5, 2016. Is crazy or just capricious
A Bronx woman who stabbed her pregnant friend to death planned the gruesome attack to ensure the baby would survive, prosecutors said Monday.
Described as ‘unhinged’ by prosecutors, the Bronx woman who killed an expectant mother, then tore the baby out of her dying victim’s womb, Ashleigh Wade, 24, has been held without bail for the grisly slaying of Angelikque Sutton on Nov. 20, 2015, when both women were 22.
At trial commencement 2 years ago, opening statements featured disturbing details of how the twisted woman carefully slaughtered then cut up her childhood friend, Angelikque Sutton, to harvest her unborn child.
While not denying their client was a killer, the defense argued she was insane, as entered by Wade’s attorney, Amy Attias.
The Nov. 20, 2015, killing was carried out in two stages, District Attorney Meredith Holtzman told a jury.
“The defendant attacked Ms. Sutton by stabbing and slashing her repeatedly in the face and neck,” Holtzman said.
“All of those injuries in the first attack took place from the neck up. The defendant took great care to avoid injuring Ms. Sutton’s abdomen,” she said.
Victim: Angelikque Sutton was fatally stabbed and slashed across the neck, her unborn baby taken out of her womb by Ashleigh Wade
“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. She cut that uterus open, took baby Jenasis out, and discarded that uterus on the bathroom floor.”
Police arrived at the crime scene in Wakefield roughly 30 minutes after the killing. But before cops showed, surveillance video captured Wade’s boyfriend holding the child, thinking it was his.
Wade was indicted on murder, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon charges, allegedly admitted to authorities she killed 22-year-old Sutton, but insisted the baby was hers,after switching her motive to investigators.
Cops found the newborn wrapped in a coat on top of a parked car near Wade’s home. Sutton’s baby girl, named Jenasis, survived the ordeal and was given over to the custody of her family.
Angelikque Sutton’s parents, Deborah and William Sutton, at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, to testify against Ashleigh Wade
Deborah and William Sutton, grieve at the funeral of their daughter in Nov, 2015
“She told the police – she told anyone who would listen – the child was hers,” Holtzman said.
The child, Jenasis, lived.
“She survived and she thrived,” Holtzman said. “The survival of Jenasis is the proof of the calculation and precision of the attack. The defendant needed Ms. Sutton to die, she needed Jenasis to live.”
Prior to the killing, Wade had tricked friends and family into believing she was pregnant. She spread the rumor through word of mouth and Facebook posts. She even kept formula, diapers, and baby shoes at home, Holtzman said.
“Except for a baby — she didn’t have a baby. For that, she needed Angelikque Sutton,” she said.
Ashleigh Wade [left], killed her pregnant childhood friend [right], on the day Angelikque Sutton was supposed to be getting married
Wade initially told police after killing Sutton she stabbed her friend in the neck during an argument, then cut open the stomach to save the baby.
The murder occurred the day Sutton was to get married at a Bronx courthouse. Sutton had thought she was picking up a gift at Wade’s home.
“This wasn’t crazy – this was murder,” DA Holtzman said.
Attias did not deny the horrendous facts of the case, but emphasized the lack of logic in Wade’s plot.
“Something could have gone horribly and tragically wrong in Wade’s own mind,” Attias said.
“If this was her plan, it was a pretty bad plan…there’s no plane tickets, there’s no train tickets. There is no escape that you’ll see evidence of.”
Wade police sources was obsessed with babies and had told her boyfriend as well as neighbors that she was pregnant when she wasn’t. She went as far as downloading sonogram photos from the internet, sending them to her boyfriend to prove a pregnancy that wasn’t cops said.
Prosecutors all along, maintained they have plenty of witness statements as well as physical and surveillance video evidence to convict Wade.