A New Hampshire man admitted to stabbing his wife to death in 2019 in front of their young son and 12-year-old daughter, who tried to stop the attack.
Emerson Figueiredo, 43, appeared in Merrimack Superior Court on November 9, where he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife, 35-year-old Nathalia DaPaixao.
Figueiredo could face 45 years to life after stabbing his wife to death.
The state’s attorney general’s office released a statement that said that the guilty plea could result in a 45-year prison sentence or even life. Figueiredo’s sentencing hearing will be on January 12.
The Concord Monitor covered Friday’s proceedings, and reports that just prior to the stabbing Figueiredo spoke to his 12-year-old daughter.
The state argued that while speaking with the girl, the killer referenced the victim, saying that “a person like that doesn’t need to live.”
The murder happened in Concord, People reports. That morning, Figueiredo and DaPaixao argued, investigators later learned.
“The two children would testify that their parents had argued frequently in the past,” Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin told the judge. “And recently there had been a lot of arguments about money. The defendant was stressed over money, and the victim wanted more financial freedom.”
The arguing continued throughout the day, prosecutors asserted. At one point, the couple removed their wedding rings and eventually, DaPaixao mentioned the possibility of divorce.
“The defendant was very angry at that point. The children said they had never seen him so angry, and said something to the effect of, ‘You’re not going to ruin my life,’” Strezlin said.
Figueiredo started beating DaPaixao with one of her own shoes. He then grabbed a kitchen knife and started stabbing her.
The couple’s preteen daughter tried stopping the attack and held off her father long enough for her mother to run from their apartment. However, investigators learned Figueiredo grabbed a second knife and pursued DaPaixao, catching up to her outside.
Prosecutors said he started stabbing his wife again and also stomped on her as she lay on the pavement.
Several neighbors witnessed the attack, People reports. Police and EMTs raced to the scene and transported DaPaixao to a local hospital where she eventually died.
Figueiredo was charged with two counts of murder. One of the counts was dropped when he agreed to enter a guilty plea.
This is such a gruesome crime that should never have happened in the first place, but the fact that a child had to witness her own mother’s murder is a tragedy.