Woman dies after spouse's attack

She was stabbed moments after receiving a protective order from Baltimore judge

November 22, 2008|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,melissa.harris@baltsun.com

A woman who police say was stabbed by her husband moments after a judge granted her a temporary protective order against him has died.

Baltimore police spokesman Donny Moses said that Veronica Williams, 28, died about 9 p.m. Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her husband of 10 years, Cleaven Williams, 33, who is president of an East Baltimore community group, is listed in good condition at the same hospital, recovering from at least two bullet wounds fired by city Officer Joshua Laycock. Williams has been charged with attempted murder.

Laycock happened to drive by the attack, which occurred Monday one block west of the Eastside District Court on North Avenue. Veronica Williams had just appeared at the courthouse before Judge Jeannie J. Hong, who granted the protective order and scheduled a final hearing for this Monday.

Hong said that Cleaven Williams did not attend the hearing and was either following his wife or had seen her on the street. At the time of the stabbing, Cleaven Williams was living alone in the family's home five blocks from the courthouse in the 900 block of E. North Ave.

According to court records, during an Oct. 19 argument over their separation, Cleaven Williams held his wife down and cut off all of her hair with a pair of scissors. Veronica Williams wrote that she "screamed" for her children, who came downstairs and stopped their father. She wrote that Cleaven Williams then kicked her out of the house and stole her car.

"She just wanted to leave the marriage, and that was his response," Hong said. "She had wanted to go back and get her belongings from the house. But I told her she must go back with a police officer, and I then had her go talk to someone from the House of Ruth," which assists victims of domestic violence.

Hong said that after speaking with the advocate, Veronica Williams decided that she did not want her husband evicted from their home because, if she moved back in, her husband would know her whereabouts.

Court records show that the couple also were having financial problems. Their house in Abingdon had been foreclosed on last year.

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