Katheleen Ayala of Millville, NJ, is indicted on manslaughter charges for stabbing her husband to death with a nail file in January
Ayala, 31, was arrested back in January in relation to the death of 35-year-old Axel Torres
A grand jury in Cumberland County indicted Ayala for aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault and weapons charges on Wednesday
She was originally charged with murder for allegedly stabbing her husband to death with a nail file in January
Ayala claimed to investigators that she was defending herself from Torres, her husband of 15 years, after he assaulted her
She didn’t intend to kill him, she said
The pair had reportedly began arguing inside their trailer at the Country Meadows mobile home park on January 12, over his marijuana use, which quickly turned violent
Ayala said Torres head-butted her, leaving her concussed with a broken nose
Ayala then armed herself with a metal nail file from a pair of fingernail clippers, chased him outside into the woods, and stabbed him multiple times, according to investigators
Torres suffered numerous stab wounds to his hands, shoulder, groin and his foot
He also suffered a wound to his left calf which severed an artery, which coroners later determined to be his cause of death
Prosecutors maintain that Ayala intentionally followed her husband after the fight, and rather than calling police, she attacked him
A New Jersey mother-of-four originally charged with murder for allegedly stabbing her husband to death with a nail file earlier this year has now been indicted on an aggravated manslaughter charge.
Katheleen Ayala, 31, of Millville, was arrested back in January accused of killing her husband 35-year-old Axel Torres. the couple had been married for 15 years.
Ayala told investigators that she was defending herself from Torres after he assaulted her. An argument escalated to an altercation. Ayala said Torres head-butted her in the face, leaving her with a broken nose and a concussion. She acted in retaliation but, she had no intention of killing him.
The couple had a row after Torres had awoken from an evening nap and Ayala angrily confronted him for smoking marijuana.
She was also said to be upset because the couple’s bathroom was dirty.
The argument turned violent in their trailer at the Country Meadows mobile home park on January 12.
After the headbutt Investigators said, Ayala then armed herself with a metal nail file from a pair of fingernail clippers, chased him outside into the woods, and stabbed him multiple times in a blind rage.
Torres suffered numerous stab wounds to his hands, shoulder, groin area and his foot. A wound to his left calf severed an artery which coroners later determined to be the cause of his death.
After the stabbing, Torres and Ayala reportedly apologized to one another. It was at this point that the 35-year-old reportedly insisted that he wasn’t feeling well and said he needed an ambulance.
Assistant Prosecutor Charles J. Wettstein said during a court hearing earlier this year that it was dark in the wooded area of the trailer park and the extent of Torres’ injuries were ‘not really known at that time’.
Ayala then ran back to the trailer to summon emergency assistance. She also enlisted the help of her cousin who drove his pickup truck to where Torres was hurt, loaded him onto the bed of the truck, and drove him back to the trailer.
Officers with the Millville Police Department then arrived at the mobile home community to find Torres unconscious and covered in blood at the scene, with Ayala performing chest compressions on him.
Torres was taken to hospital in New Jersey where he died the next day.
Ayala told police she was responsible for the attack but only wanted to scare her husband and did not intend to physically harm him.
Defense attorney Eugene P. Tinari said that Ayala, a full-time warehouse worker and mother-of-four, had no prior record before January 12 when the incident occurred and claims she had no intent to kill her husband.
Arguing that her behavior was an aberration and a response to being injured by Torres, Tinari told the judge: ‘Who stabs someone in the calf if you want to kill them?’ the defense attorney said in a January court hearing. ‘Nobody.’
‘The fact is, your honor, by all accounts in what we have been given thus far, it is clear that this was an aberration in terms of my client’s behavior in the past and that particular night,’ Tinari said.
‘The prosecution is correct. She sustained a concussion.’
Challenging the arguments, the prosecution countered that Ayala intentionally followed her husband after the fight, and rather than calling police, she attacked him.
‘It wasn’t just one stab wound, judge,’ Assistant Prosecutor Charles Wettstein said at the time. ‘It’s the state’s position at this point that she knew that thrusting a knife into the human body multiple times is going to result in an individual’s death.’
In addition to her aggravated manslaughter indictment, a Cumberland County grand jury also indicted Ayala on aggravated assault and weapons charges Wednesday.
Ayala has remained in custody since her arrest on January 12.
A court date has not yet been set in the case.