The pre-teen children of a woman stabbed repeatedly Tuesday morning in her Kennewick home tried to protect her and pull her attacker off her, according to court documents.
Rayfield Cole, 47, was charged in Benton County Superior Court Friday with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. There were multiple aggravating factors, according to court documents.
Cole is accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Maldonado, multiple times and then stabbing his brother in the neck and hand when he tried to stop Cole.
Maldonado had told Cole she wanted to break up with him and that he needed to move out of her apartment, according to court documents.
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On the night of April 25, Maldonado slept on the couch, but early the next morning she went into the master bedroom where Cole was sleeping to retrieve items she needed to get ready to work.
When she refused to get into bed with Cole, he grabbed her and started strangling her, pushing her onto the floor, according to court documents.
The oldest daughter ran next door to get help when she could not pull the attacker off her mother, according to court documents.
She screamed and tried to get away, but Cole grabbed a large knife and repeatedly stabbed her in the neck and torso, according to court documents.
Maldonado’s daughter ran in to see Cole sitting on her mother and stabbing her, according to court documents. The girl jumped on Cole’s back and tried to stop him.
An 11-year-old daughter tried to use her body to shield her mother from the attack, and a 7-year-old daughter also watched.
Maldonado yelled at the girls to call 911, and the oldest ran next door, where Cole’s brother, Phillmore Cole lived.
Phillmore Cole had to use force to open the master bedroom door.
Rayfield Cole said he was going to kill Maldonado and then his brother, according to court documents. When Phillmore Cole tried to take the knife away, he was stabbed in the neck and hand.
Phillmore Cole’s adult daughter, who also lives in the apartment complex, heard the screaming and helped Maldonado and Maldonado’s daughters get out of the apartment as Phillmore Cole tried to subdue Rayfield Cole.
Rayfield Cole said he wanted to kill himself, and Phillmore Cole offered to get him a gun, according to court documents. Instead, he left to get a handgun to protect himself and Maldonado.
Michelle Maldonado remains hospitalized and the brother of the accused will need surgery to repair tendons in his hand.
Police arrived to find everyone but Rayfield Cole in Phillmore Cole’s apartment. Maldonado and Phillmore Cole were taken to Trios Southridge Hospital.
Rayfield Cole taped knives to each of his hands and refused to leave Maldonado’s apartment, according to court documents. When he surrendered about an hour later to the Tri-City Regional SWAT team, he had cut both of his wrists.
Maldonado had at least six stab wounds, including wounds to her neck and liver and a sucking chest wound. She underwent surgery and remained hospitalized in fair condition Friday.
Phillmore Cole was released from the hospital but will need surgery to repair cut tendons in his hand.
Aggravating circumstances in the case include domestic violence with children present, use of a deadly weapon, a victim who acted as a good Samaritan and the impact the incident will have on the children.
Rayfield Cole is scheduled to appear in court Monday. He is being held in the Benton County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.