An estranged husband waited outside Broward Health Coral Springs early Tuesday for the end of his wife’s overnight shift as a nurse, then he stabbed her multiple times, jumped in his car, and drove over her “like she was a speed bump,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Merin Joy, 26, had just finished her last day at Broward Health and was planning to move across the state to Tampa — without Philip Mathew, 34, now charged with murder in her death.
Joy had called Coral Springs police on July 19, worried about personal messages and photos Mathew was posting online. But police told her he hadn’t committed a crime and advised her to contact her divorce lawyer.
Mathew appeared in court Wednesday, his arms bandaged from self-inflicted knife wounds, and was formally charged with first degree murder, Local 10 reported.
“He stabbed her multiple times, and then after he stabbed her, leaving her body on the ground, he then proceeded to run over the victim, showing clear intent,” Assistant State Attorney Eric Linder told the court.
Mathew’s attorney, assistant public defender Walter Miller, argued that the murder was a crime of passion and not premeditated, but Linder pointed out that he bought a knife, a hammer, and other items from Home Depot before the attack and then waited for Joy to leave work.
“Your honor, he drove to her location of her place of work and laid in wait for her to leave,” he said. “This was not a random encounter.”
Mathew was ordered held without bond and is undergoing a mental health evaluation.
Some of Joy’s co-workers saw at least part of the attack — one said that Mathew drove over her “like she was a speed bump.” Police said she identified Mathew as her assailant before she died, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The Sun Sentinel reported that Joy and Mathew married in 2016 and had a 2-year-old daughter. Their marriage seemed rocky early on, however, with Coral Springs police saying they responded to the home in 2018 when he threatened to kill his wife and himself.
The couple visited India, where both are from, last December, and Joy left 2-year-old Norah with her mother for safekeeping.
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[Featured image: Merin Joy/Facebook]