A 26-year-old woman accused of fatally stabbing a man in the heart in April was charged Wednesday with deliberate homicide.
Tiffanie Elizabeth Fitzpatrick appeared in Justice Court by video from the county jail. Judge Larry Herman set bond at $150,000 and ordered her to appear Monday for arraignment in District Court.
Fitzpatrick is accused of stabbing 32-year-old Joe Anthony Vasquez in a house at 1012 S. 29th St. The stabbing happened shortly before 4 a.m., when police received a 911 call from someone in the house, according to court records.
Fitzpatrick was arrested in Hardin on Monday.
Vasquez was pronounced dead at the Billings Clinic emergency room about an hour after the 911 call was made. An autopsy determined Vasquez was stabbed once in the chest with a blade that penetrated his heart. He had a blood alcohol level of between 0.16 percent and 0.24 percent at the time of death, court records state. The state measure of intoxication for driving is 0.08 percent.
According to the court records, several people were in the house when Vasquez was stabbed, including two children. But the occupants told police Fitzpatrick and Vasquez were alone in the kitchen at the time of the stabbing. Police later found a bloody steak knife tucked between cushions of a chair in the kitchen.
Witnesses initially told investigators that Vasquez was stabbed elsewhere and came to the house but did not want medical assistance. Later, the witnesses said Vasquez was found on the floor of the kitchen bleeding from a chest wound. One witnesses said he tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Vasquez, then called 911.
Another witness said she was sleeping downstairs when Fitzpatrick woke her and asked to lie down and pretend she was asleep. Prosecutors state Fitzpatrick then admitted to stabbing Vasquez.
Fitzpatrick "told her that she and Vasquez had an argument and that Vasquez punched her," court records state. Fitzpatrick then said she had a knife and Vasquez said, "Go ahead and stab me if you're gonna stab me."
Several people reported seeing Fitzpatrick in Hardin later that day, including a woman who said Fitzpatrick told her she had stabbed a man who had hit her. Fitzpatrick said she was going to see her children and then head to South Dakota.
In court Wednesday, prosecutors asked for a high bond because Fitzpatrick has no local address and is considered a flight risk.