Michelle Lee Boat, 59, is on trial for first-degree murder in Iowa
A woman on trial for the murder of her husband’s new lover has argued that the isolation and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed her over the edge.
Michelle Lee Boat, 59, took a stand on Monday in her own defense in Iowa, the Marion County District Court, where she is charged with the murder of 46-year-old Tracy Mondabough last May.
‘I just bit, and I took the knife. And I just stabbed her and I dropped the knife, ‘Boot testified, visibly emotional.
Boat’s lawyers argue that her first degree murder charge against her should be reduced to manslaughter, saying she had a mental break in the chaos of the pandemic and was not motivated by jealous revenge.
On March 12, 2020, as the nation was in the throes of the pandemic, Boat was working in a hospital washroom when she learned that her husband Nicholas was leaving her for the younger woman.
‘I just bit, and I took the knife. And I just stabbed her, and I dropped the knife, ” Boat testified Monday in Marion County District Court, visibly emotional
Boot is charged with the murder of 46-year-old Tracy Mondabough (left) after her husband Nicholas Boat (right) left her for the younger woman last spring
‘Heartbroken, sad, despondent, devastated, destroyed. As if I had just walked out my whole life. There would be no more thanks or Christmas parties without him, ”the mother of two testified to her reaction when she learned that her husband was leaving.
Two months later, on May 18, 2020, Boat stabbed Mondabough while the younger woman was in her car outside her apartment complex, police said. Witnesses described the attacker shouting, “He doesn’t belong to you!” according to an arrest warrant.
Jill Eimermann, one of Michelle Boat’s attorneys, told the jury in opening statements last week that police had identified the correct suspect.
‘This isn’t a movie, it’s not TV. What is happening here is a real tragedy, ”said Eimermann. “I’ll tell you Michelle Boat is responsible. Michelle Boat was the one who had the knife … Michelle Boat is the one who stabbed her. ‘
Eimermann insisted that Boat was not “scorned” or motivated by jealousy, but that she found herself “suddenly alone in the midst of chaos” when the pandemic unfolded.
‘Each of you remembers back to March last year – how scary the world was. The fear, the chaos, the isolation we all felt in the early days of the pandemic. There Michelle was 69 days before May 18th, ”said Eimermann.
Nicholas testified that he met Mondabough on Facebook in early March and said the two started dating soon after
However, the prosecutors presented a different story to the jury, describing Boat as a calculating murderer motivated by jealousy.
Marion County Attorney Ed Bull said Boat had carefully chased Mondabough, following her from a Burger King drive-thru to Nicholas’ workplace, where the two ate, and then to Mondabough’s own home.
The boat attacked Mondabough as she parked her car outside her apartment complex, stabbing her in the heart before she could even unbuckle her seat belt, prosecutors say.
Nicholas testified that he met Mondabough on Facebook in early March and said the two started dating soon after.
Bull also noted that Boat had worn latex gloves during the stabbing.
‘[S]He hunted, she put on gloves and she stabbed the knife in Tracy Mondabough’s heart and killed her, ”Bull said in the opening statement.
Brian Bigaouette, a former Marion County Sheriff’s lieutenant, testified that in Boat’s home, investigators found a calendar that marked every day since her husband left her.
Boat testified that she ‘snapped,’ but prosecutors say the murder was planned and carried out carefully, with Boat wearing latex gloves for the stabbing
Boat was immediately identified as a suspect in the murder, in part because Mondabough had already called police in March to complain that Boat had followed her from Pella, Iowa, to Ottumwa, Iowa, 40 miles away, saying she was afraid for her safety. .
Witnesses to the murder also described the attacker’s gray Cadillac, matching Boat’s vehicle.
When officers arrived at Boat’s home, they found the Cadillac with “visible blood on the outside,” according to an affidavit.
In the house Boat wore ‘a bathrobe and a towel around her head’ after showering.
A single outfit was found in her washing machine, and a pair of “rubber gloves, containing what looked like blood, were found in the top tank of the toilet.”
The murder weapon has never been recovered. Bull argued that the gloves showed that the killing was planned in advance and not on a whim.
The jury will hear closing arguments in the case on Tuesday.