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“She killed a man before:” Woman accused of stabbing fiance during dispute; he had BAC of .46

RACINE -- A woman who served five years in prison in Illinois in connection with a fatal stabbing in 1993 is now accused of stabbing her fiance during a dispute in Racine. They were found naked in bed, and prosecutors say her fiance told investigators "she keeps knives all over the place!"

Maria Chamblis

50-year-old Maria Chamblis of Racine faces three felony charges:

  • Mayhem, domestic abuse assessments, use of a dangerous weapon
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety, domestic abuse assessments, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Substantial battery, domestic abuse assessments, use of a dangerous weapon

A criminal complaint filed in this case notes that Chamblis spent five years in prison for second degree murder in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chamblis was convicted in the stabbing death of her neighbor, after their children got into an argument.

According to the complaint, Racine police on March 24th were called out to a home near 16th and South Memorial Drive for a report of an assault. At the home, they spoke with Chamblis' sister, who said she lived in the home with Chamblis and Chamblis' fiance. Chamblis and her fiance were found naked on a bed "surrounded by blood." Chamblis' sister said she was ordered to call police because Chamblis' fiance hit her.

"There was a significant amount of bleeding. It must have been quite the scene. I can only imagine," Tricia Hanson, Racine County district attorney said.

16th and South Memorial Drive

Police spoke with Chamblis, who indicated a dispute began after her fiance confronted her about a photo of a naked man he apparently found on her phone. After Chamblis told her fiance she wasn't having an affair, Chamblis said her fiance struck her in the face with a wooden stool. Chamblis said she then grabbed a belt, and "restrained her fiance on the bed until he settled down."

"He said he was restrained with a belt across his shoulders," Hanson said.

Chamblis refused medical treatment, but her fiance was taken to the hospital for treatment of stab wounds to his right eye and left chest area, the complaint says. This, despite the fact that Chamblis told investigators she didn't believe her fiance was hurt during the altercation. She even said "she would admit it, had she stabbed her fiance, because she stabbed a person to death in Illinois and served five years for it, so she knew about stabbing and self-defense."

At the hospital, doctors determined that, in addition to the stab wounds, Chamblis' fiance had a blood alcohol level of .46. Chamblis' fiance told investigators he became angry on the evening of March 24th because Chamblis refused to have sex with him after he found the photo of the naked man on her phone. He said Chamblis "went crazy" and started "swinging knives" at him. Chamblis' fiance told investigators: "I know my wife stabbed me. She keeps knives all over the place!" He noted that he and Chamblis "always have disputes," and he said he "may have struck her with a stool a few days ago."

The complaint indicates Chamblis' fiance made this statement to police:

"I love my wife, but she tried to kill me. She killed a man in Chicago, and she did four years for it. I don't like being abused by women. I get beat up all the time by Chamblis. She stabbed a man before, and now she stabbed me."

Investigators found five knives/box cutters in the bedroom where the altercation happened.

Chamblis made her initial appearance in court in this case on Tuesday, March 28th. A preliminary hearing was set for April 5th, and cash bond was set at $50,000.

"It will be significant in sentencing. It rose to a very dangerous level and quickly," Hanson said.