A police officer in the Dominican Republic is being held without bail after he was charged with murdering his wife in their Massachusetts apartment while their four children were home, the Eagle Tribune reports.
Junior Solis Garcia, age 39, was charged in connection with the stabbing death of his wife, Mariel Ramos De Los Santos, age 30, on Thursday, June 23, Lawrence Police said on Facebook.
Police responded to a 911 call for medical assistance at an apartment located at 12 Diamond Street in Lawrence in the early morning hours of Monday, June 20, police said. Upon arrival, officers found De Los Santos dead from multiple stab wounds.
During his arraignment, Garcia's attorney said he was acting in "self-defense" and claimed Garcia was "forced to defend himself after De Los Santos stabbed him in the stomach, the Eagle Tribune reports. This apparently happened after the two got into a fight after coming home from a trip to the Dominican Republic.
However, relatives of De Los Santos claim Garcia was "very controlling and abusive," the outlet reports. The couple's violent history was documented by both Lawrence Police and the state’s Department of Children and Families. At one point, De Los Santos even obtained divorce papers, the outlet continued.
The couple's children, who were left unharmed in the matter, are now in the custody of De Los Santos' parents, the outlet said. Garcia has also been ordered to not have any contact with his wife's family or children.
Meanwhile, a vigil for De Los Santos is being held in the parking lot where the murder happened Friday evening at 6 p.m.
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