Dad ANTHONY KNOX is accused of murdering his wife and assaulting their two children.
Before she died, Windgap woman told police her husband had stabbed her
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mara Jo Knox of Windgap lay mortally wounded in her bedroom Sunday when she told police "Anthony" had stabbed her.
Police quickly identified Mrs. Knox's attacker as her husband, Anthony Knox, who, investigators said, also tried to kill his 13-year-old daughter, Marlaysia, and his son, Marc Anthony, 7.
Mr. Knox was found on the kitchen floor with a self-inflicted knife wound of the throat.
He is in critical condition in Allegheny General Hospital, where he is waiting to be arraigned on charges of homicide and two counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
A police affidavit said they were summoned by a call from Marc Knox, who said his father had stabbed his mother and sister.
The boy was exiting the garage in the 3800 block of Haven Street when police arrived to take him into protective custody at 12:51 p.m.
No reason was given in the affidavit for the assaults and the killing.
The children were in serious but stable condition Monday at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Mrs. Knox, 41, was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon at Allegheny General Hospital. She had suffered multiple stab wounds of the abdomen.
Both children are students at Pittsburgh Westwood K-8 in the West End. For the past seven years, Mrs. Knox had been a secretary at Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 in the Hill District.
"The Pittsburgh Public Schools is saddened by the very heartbreaking situation for two of our children affected by the death of their mother," a spokeswoman for the district said.
Grief counselors were dispatched to both schools on Monday to assist students and staff in dealing with the situation.
Marlaysia told police her father retrieved her and her brother from their bedroom Sunday and ordered them to the basement. While they were there, they heard their mother screaming upstairs.
The girl said she went to investigate and saw her father stabbing Mrs. Knox.
The suspect chased Marlaysia to the basement where he choked her and struck her on the head several times with a claw hammer, causing her to pass out, the affidavit said.
The house was quiet when she awakened and went to the bedroom, where Mr. Knox spotted her and again chased her, the affidavit said.
He grabbed the girl by the shirt and, as she freed herself of the garment, she wrestled a knife away from her father and fled from the home.
Marlaysia later called police from a residence about a block away on Harlow Street, the first neighbor to open the door for her, she told police.
The girl still was in possession of the kitchen knife she said she took from her father, police said.
Police found identical knives lying near Mrs. Knox in the bedroom and near Mr. Knox in the kitchen.
Mr. Knox was under police guard at the hospital. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.
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