A state grand jury has indicted a Treme woman on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated cruelty to animals, accusing Brenda Washington of fatally stabbing her husband and also stabbing two dogs in the same house where she had killed another husband a quarter-century ago.
Washington, 62, also goes by the name Brenda Jacobs.
Billie Ray Jacobs, 63, was found dead Oct. 30 inside his house in the 2000 block of Dumaine Street. By then, relatives had been trying for days to reach him.
Firefighters breached the door to get inside, where they found his bloodied body along with Washington, two stabbed dogs and an open notebook with a handwritten note from Washington.
She wrote that the couple were losing the home, which was months delinquent on tax bills, and that she planned to kill her husband and their dogs so they could be at peace, according to police.
Police estimated Jacobs had been dead for at least 48 hours. The indictment says he was killed sometime from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30. The dogs survived.
Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich set bail for Washington at $1.05 million, up from the $250,000 figure that was set upon her arrest.
A previous husband, Clarence Darrell Williams, met a similar fate in September 1990, when Washington pulled out a .38-caliber revolver from beneath a mattress and shot him below the left temple in a marital dispute, according to a Times-Picayune story at the time.
She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Washington faces a mandatory life sentence. Aggravated cruelty to animals carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years.
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