A man punched his estranged wife and stabbed her 70 times in the chest and head before his 13-year-old daughter pulled him away, disarmed him and fled with the knife, police said Saturday.
The fatal attack came about one week after the suspect was charged with assaulting the same woman. He had been released without bail on the condition that he not contact her.
Billy Nash, 46, of Minneapolis was charged Friday with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. He was ordered held on $1 million bail.
Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Nash on Saturday. A message left at the Nash home wasn’t immediately returned.
Police identified the victim by the initials P.N. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis identified her as Pauline Nash, 42.
Billy Nash had been charged March 24 with misdemeanor domestic assault for allegedly kicking and slapping his wife and dragging her by the hair after she refused to have sex with him.
He was released from the Hennepin County jail two days later and ordered not to contact his wife. Judge Regina Chu allowed his conditional release because he had no prior domestic-assault convictions and because Pauline Nash said “this has never occurred in the past,” according to a court transcript.
But he violated the no-contact order almost immediately, said Brittany Nash, 18, the fifth of the couple’s sixth children.
“He shouldn’t have been out. If he just got done abusing her, why would you let (him) out of jail two-three days later?” she told the Star Tribune. “That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Chief Hennepin County Judge James Swenson released a statement defending Chu’s decision to release Billy Nash.
“Judge Chu has spent much of her judicial career working on the issue of domestic violence,” Swenson said. “She cares passionately about protecting victims of domestic violence, and for her, the death of this morning is a particularly sad and tragic occurrence.”
Brittany Nash said she awoke to hear her mother’s terrified screams Friday about 3 a.m. She ran to her mother’s room and found her father attacking her, the criminal complaint said. Brittany Nash dialed 911 as her 13-year-old sister grabbed the bloody knife and fled.
Police found Pauline Nash bleeding in the bedroom. She was taken to a hospital where she died.
Billy Nash told investigators, “I’m sorry, sergeant, that you had to come here tonight for this. … She was driving me crazy. … I killed the (expletive),” the complaint said.
He said he was angry at the way his wife was handling money, court documents said. As the couple argued he grabbed a paring knife and repeatedly stabbed her, the documents said.
As police led him away he looked at his children but said nothing, Brittany Nash said.
The teenager said she wants people to remember her mother, a personal-care attendant, as a loving, caring soul who treated others as she wanted to be treated.
“What are we going to do without our mom?” Brittany Nash said. “We have no parents now. What are we going to do?”