The 22-year-old woman who allegedly fatally stabbed her pregnant friend and then cut the fetus out of her womb this week has been charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.
Suspect Ashleigh Wade, who is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Elmhurst Center Hospital, initially told cops at the scene that it was her baby. "She tried to sell the idea that the baby was hers and she had just given birth right there,” a police source said yesterday. "But that was clearly not the case." Now, the Daily News reports Wade is claiming that she killed her friend and "saved" the baby in self-defense. In addition, Wade's friends and family say she has been lying about being pregnant for the last nine months.
Police were called to victim Wade's apartment on Monticello Avenue in Wakefield around 2:30 p.m. Friday after she allegedly strangled victim Angelikque Sutton, cut her throat, and then cut into her stomach. Sutton was eight and a half months pregnant at the time; the baby, which was due on December 2nd, survived the incident. The baby has been named Genesis.
After being arrested, Wade told authorities that Sutton lunged at her with a knife, "but she wrestled it away and jammed it into the pregnant woman’s neck. She then cut open Sutton’s stomach to save the unborn child, she told cops." It's unclear what prompted the incident between the two women.
The Post reports that Wade and Sutton were childhood friends who had recently reconnected on Facebook, and had gone out shopping for baby clothes together, among other things. Wade apparently had convinced her friends and family, including her boyfriend Angel Praylow, that she was pregnant; Praylow had been posting pictures of baby clothes and sonograms on Facebook in recent months. Wade apparently called Praylow after the murder happened, and told him to come over right away "because she did something really bad."
"I thought she was pregnant. I didn’t know she wasn’t,” said Wade’s landlord, Angela Parris, who deals with pregnant women as an OB/GYN nurse. "She had me fooled...She was heavy so I couldn’t tell."
"It’s a shocker to him. It’s a shocker to me and my wife," Praylow's father, Steven Praylow, told the Post. "I was telling her [a few weeks ago] I can’t wait ’til November, when the baby’s due. I thought I was going to be a grandfather." He added that his son hadn't gone to Wade’s doctor’s appointments with her because he was always working in the kitchens at NYU. "That’s how she really got away with it,” he said.
The News adds that cops have no knowledge whether Wade is pregnant or has ever been pregnant, and she refused to consent to a medical exam. “She seems obsessed with babies,” a police source told them.