A New Orleans woman is behind bars on suicide watch after detectives accused her of stabbing her husband to death in Hollygrove early Tuesday, then using bleach to try to wipe away evidence of the crime.
Police allege that Katrina Lampton Tollette posted an eerie warning on Facebook before stabbing her husband with an eight-inch kitchen knife and then letting him bleed to death instead of calling 911.
Writing under the profile name “Katrina FierceDiva,” police say, Lampton Tollette posted a “PSA” to women who thought they were “the woman in a man’s life that has a wife” on Monday: “Remember she is his wife and she has the rights and can refuse your presence at his funeral services.”
Less than 24 hours later, her husband, 42-year-old Nathaniel Tollette, was dead. After officers discovered his body at 9216 Colapissa St., they booked Katrina Lampton Tollette, 32, on second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell gave short shrift to a public defender’s argument that Lampton Tollette may have been defending herself against domestic violence in a court hearing Wednesday and ordered her held on $500,000 bail.
A warrant lays out the bizarre chain of events that police say followed the fatal stabbing, which they say happened around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
A friend said Lampton Tollette called her about 1:30 a.m. to say that she and her husband had been in a verbal argument.
Lampton Tollette reportedly told her friend that she had “somehow” stabbed her husband with a kitchen knife she was using to cut fruit for a meal. She also told the friend that she believed her husband’s wound was “not serious,” so she did not call 911.
About 8 a.m. that morning, Lampton Tollette later said, she took their 3-year-old son to day care. When she returned about 9 a.m., she and her friend checked in on how her husband was doing.
He was shirtless, clutching a bloody towel to his chest, and dead. The friend called 911.
Police entering the house said they found signs that Lampton Tollette had tried to clean up a blood-soaked rug in the hallway. The house reeked of bleach and laundry soap, according to Detective Bruce Brueggeman, and cleaning supplies were stacked on the kitchen counter.
At some point between when her husband was stabbed and when authorities were notified, Lampton Tollette also put in a call to a professional cleaning service to tidy up the house.
Lampton Tollette later said there was an innocent explanation for the bleach and the cleaners: She said she wanted to pass a property inspection her landlord was planning for later in the day.
If Lampton Tollette was trying to cover up her crime, as police claim, she did not do a very good job. Police said they found her wearing a bloodstained shirt and bloodstained sweatpants when they arrived.
Lampton Tollette reportedly made the spontaneous statement that her husband had “fallen on a knife by accident” while talking to a patrol officer. Detectives pulled Lampton Tollette in for questioning, and at that point, she admitted to the stabbing, they said.
According to the story that Lampton Tollette purportedly gave police, she was cutting fruit in the kitchen with a knife when she started arguing with her husband about their relationship.
At that point, she allegedly said, he grabbed her by the arms and the neck, and she reacted by stabbing him in the chest.
Orleans Parish court records do not show any domestic violence convictions for Nathaniel Tollette.