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Pregnant woman hiding in fire station stabbed to death by ex-con: sheriff

A man recently released from prison stabbed his pregnant ex-girlfriend to death over fears she would sue him for domestic violence, which the local sheriff said would violate his parole terms.

The deceased victim, who was 37-year-old Treasure Hennessy, was found outside of a domestic violence shelter in Fort Mitchell, Alabama, where she was taking refuge, police said Russell County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO).

The suspect accused of her murder, 39-year-old Bradley Wayne Stokes, was arrested at a hotel in Columbus, Georgia, after trying to evade authorities, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor announced at a news conference on Sunday. The sheriff said Stokes faces murder charges in the deaths of Hennessy and her unborn child.

Investigators believe Stokes found out where Hennessy, who was eight weeks pregnant with his child, lived on Friday afternoon and assaulted her that night, Taylor said.

Man stabs pregnant woman
Bradley Wayne Stokes has been charged with murder after killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, who he believed would file a domestic violence complaint, which the local sheriff’s office says would land him back in jail.
Russell County Sheriff’s Office

Newsweek I reached out to the RCSO via email and Facebook on Sunday for comment. At the time of publication, it was unclear whether Stokes had hired an attorney to speak on his behalf.

According to Taylor and local media reports, Stokes, 39, was released from federal prison on June 2 after serving 14 years of a 16-year sentence for gun possession and manslaughter in the 2008 shooting death of his then-girlfriend Crystal Bailey. He began dating Hennessy shortly after he was released from prison, the sheriff said, describing their relationship as “on and off.” Hennessy has filed “at least two” domestic violence cases against Stokes in the past two months, Taylor said during the press conference, which was broadcast online by WTVM.

Hennessy moved out of the apartment she shared with Stokes in late August and was given permission to stay at the Fort Mitchell Fire Station on Black Bottom Road to avoid contact with him, the sheriff said.

Dispatchers received a call around midnight Saturday about a body found at the fire station, which also serves as a shelter for victims of domestic violence, Taylor said. The victim, identified as Hennessy, was found with multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Taylor said investigators understand Stokes was concerned Hennessy would apply for a warrant over the domestic violence calls. The sheriff said he believes Stokes was hiding outside the hideout, waiting to attack his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

“I believe the evidence in this case will show that Mr Stokes’ motive for committing this crime was that he felt Ms Hennessy was going to sign a domestic violence warrant against him, which violates the terms of his probation and send him back to jail for the remainder of his sentence,” Taylor said.

According to the sheriff, after the killing, Stokes moved Hennessy’s vehicle behind a nearby barn to hide it before fleeing the scene in his car. When Stokes was arrested in Georgia, investigators discovered a knife they believe was used in the murder, the sheriff said.

According to the RCSO, which is investigating the case, Stokes will be extradited back to Russell County in the next few days to face murder charges.

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