Last Updated: October 22, 2010 7:01pm
A man accused of murdering his wife testified Friday that she suddenly and “ferociously” attacked him – even clawing his penis with her long fingernails – and he simply defended himself.
Demetrios Angelis, 40, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Lien Li Angelis, 42, found rolled in a carpet in the estranged couple’s apartment on June 8, 2008.
A pathologist said the cause of death can’t be determined but his findings are consistent with asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression.
Dressed in a dark suit with close-cropped hair and wire-rimmed glasses, Angelis denied doing either.
“I don’t know quite what it is that caused her death,” Angelis, a suspended Health Canada policy analyst, told the jury. “I never intended for her to die.
“For some reason she was very angry and furious at me that morning and she attacked me. I just did what I thought I had to do to stop her from hurting me.”
He said his wife “lost it” when he told her to stop badgering their daughter, 8, to lie in a family court assessment.
Angelis said he felt a sudden pain where she’d “sunk her nails into my penis.”
He said he pushed his “growling” wife down, but she slashed at his face and chest. He got her on her stomach, straddled her and “pleaded” with her to stop.
She finally agreed, he said.
“She was alive when I let her go, then all of a sudden she wasn’t,” Angelis said.
He said he wrapped her in the carpet because their son, 3, was screaming and trying to touch her body.
He covered his bleeding penis with toilet paper and his face with her make-up and took the kids to church.
Then he called police.
“The last image I had in my mind was paramedics taking the children away on a stretcher and (his son) screaming and trying to get to me,” Angelis said, choking up.
He said he’s still shocked because in 15 years they’d never fought although home life had become “unbearable” since his wife initiated the split in April. She was videotaping him “24-7” for their custody battle and wouldn’t speak to him.
But Angelis testified he wasn’t angry she was cheating. The court has heard from her lover of 13 years but Angelis said he’d known since 2003 or 2004 and decided he could “let it go, for the sake of the family.”