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New Jersey mother accused of stabbing her 7-year-old son to death, wounding another

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May 17 2021, Published 3:10 p.m. ET

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A New Jersey mother is accused of attacking her children, killing one, prosecutors said.

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On May 15 just after 7 a.m., Iris Tolentino, 46, allegedly stabbed two of her sons, ages 7 and 17, in the family’s apartment in Paterson. The victims’ 15-year-old brother was uninjured, the Paterson Times reported.  

According to the outlet, the older victim was knifed in the arm and responding officers found him in the bathroom with the door held shut. The younger child suffered “numerous stab wounds” in the attack and was unresponsive, law enforcement officials said.

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“I saw the little boy laying there, and I was like, wow, I’ve never seen something like that, you know. A kid, small kid, 7-year-old, full of blood, just laying there and the [EMT] was trying to give him CPR, in an ambulance, they were trying to help him out, but I guess it was too late for him,” neighbor Ernesto Rodrigues told New York’s WCBS-TV

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The brothers were rushed to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, where the 7-year-old boy was pronounced dead. The older son was treated and released.

Following a struggle with officers, Tolentino was also taken to the same hospital for a mental health evaluation, police said.

Rodrigues noted the stabbing suspect would walk around the area with her Bible and didn’t seem like she could harm her children. “She comes by, goes to the store and says ‘God bless you’ every day,” he said.

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Neighbor Yamileth Alzira told the television station: “I can’t imagine, I can’t even begin to imagine, to be honest with you, having six kids, I couldn’t see myself doing something like that to my children, but then again, we don’t know what she was going through mentally.”

Tolentino faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

If convicted, she could be sentenced to life in prison.


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