By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — Jacoba Ramirez-Rodriguez wanted her husband to stay away from her.
She went to court and asked a judge to order the man to leave her alone. She said he’d assaulted her in the past and his anger was escalating. Two days later she was stabbed 19 times with a kitchen knife that her husband reportedly bought an hour earlier.
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Oscar Garcia-Pacheco with first-degree murder. They allege that Garcia-Pacheco, 32, brutally attacked his wife on May 24 moments after she retrieved the protection order out of her car near the couple’s business in downtown Monroe.
Standing on the sidewalk, Ramirez-Rodriguez was stabbed multiple times in the chest and abdomen with an eight-inch knife. She suffered an eviscerated bowel, perforated spleen and cuts to her colon and diaphragm. The numerous injuries caused a dramatic drop in her blood pressure, which likely caused the woman to suffer a stroke two days after the stabbing, according to court papers. The stroke left Ramirez-Rodriguez brain dead, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell wrote.
Her family took her off life support a week later. Ramirez-Rodriguez died June 2. She was 34.
Her husband reportedly told police that he bought the knives at a nearby Fred Meyer with the plan to kill his wife. He also allegedly told detectives that he intended to kill himself, too.
The couple dated for about eight years before marrying in 2007. They owned a business on North Lewis Street and had lived in Monroe for more than a decade.
In her statement to the court, Ramirez-Rodriguez wrote that her husband assaulted her as early as 2000. He sometimes left her with bruises and black eyes, she wrote.
Ramirez-Rodriguez also wrote that she didn’t report the abuse to police because she “always thought he would change.”
Then on May 20, she did call police. She said her husband came to their business and caused a disturbance. He was throwing items around and arguing with other relatives. Ramirez-Rodriguez didn’t report being assaulted and no one was arrested that night, according to court papers.
The next day she filed a petition seeking a protection order. She wrote that the couple was in the process of divorcing. She wanted her husband prohibited from coming to their home and business. A judge granted the protection order on May 22. The paperwork indicated that Ramirez-Rodriguez planned to make private arrangements to serve the order to her husband instead of asking police.
Prosecutors allege that two days later the defendant bought a four-pack of kitchen knives and showed up at the family business. Witnesses said the couple argued for a short time. Ramirez-Rodriguez walked to her car to get the court order. Her husband allegedly followed her to the car and then plunged the knife into her stomach.
Witnesses reported seeing the attack and hearing the woman scream. Garcia-Pacheco eventually ran off. Witnesses told police that he waved the knife at them as they followed him and called 911 to report his whereabouts.
A nurse and other witnesses rendered aid to the woman until paramedics arrived.
Police officers cornered Garcia-Pacheco in an alley. There, he reportedly threatened to kill himself and police, Cornell wrote. He was subdued with shocks from an electronic stun gun before his arrest.
Police recovered a bloodied and bent knife.
Garcia-Pacheco reportedly told police that he remembered stabbing his wife but said he thought he’d only cut her clothing.
Domestic violence is a factor in about a quarter of the county’s homicides each year. In Washington state, roughly half of all domestic-violence homicides occur when the victim is trying to leave the relationship.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.