• Woman charged in fatal stabbing in Fitchburg acted in self defense, attorney says


    FITCHBURG, Mass. - The lawyer of a woman charged in connection with fatally stabbing her girlfriend in Fitchburg says his client was acting in self defense.

    Wanda Gonzalez was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Friday. She is accused of killing 34-year-old Jennifer Colon, who was found lying in the street with stab wounds late Tuesday night.

    First responders were called to an apartment at 39 Wanoosnoc Road around 10:15 p.m. for a reported double stabbing. 

    Colon was taken to Leominster Hospital and transferred to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where she was pronounced dead. 

    Gonzalez was also taken to the hospital with injuries, but police say she has been placed in custody at the hospital. She was arraigned Wednesday from her hospital bed on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, and pleaded not guilty. 

    Prosecutors say Gonzalez began stabbing Colon during a fight. A witness reported seeing Gonzalez stabbing Colon as she lay on the ground in front of their apartment.  

    But Gonzalez's attorney said his client was stabbed while trying to defend herself. 

    "My client was the victim in an assault," defense attorney John Swanley said. "She was attacked with a knife, and if, your honor, could take a look here, turn your head. If you can see on both sides of her neck, she has suffered multiple lacerations from a knife on both sides."

    Neighbors were stunned to learn of the fatal stabbing a few doors down that took the life of a young mother. 

    "It’s crazy. I mean, to have it happen right next to you," said Luz Davila.

    "I just see somebody get wheeled into the ambulance and then another person came out of the house," Davila said.

    Colon's three children were taken by the Department of Children and Families and were set to be reunited with family later Wednesday. 

    Prosecutors say the women were in a relationship, with children home during the violence.

    Detectives were at the scene overnight and investigators could be seen gathering evidence inside and outside of the apartment.

    The state is looking to retrieve a possible record of domestic violence involving Gonzalez in Puerto Rico. 

    Meanwhile, an autopsy is underway to determine the cause and manner of Colon's death. Depending on those results, charges could be upgraded to murder. 

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