U.S. Navy recruiter Eric Gilford wanted to reconcile with his pregnant wife on their daughter’s fourth birthday. Courtney Gilford, 34, refused and the sailor went berserk. Eric Gilford stabbed her 16 times in front of their daughter and then placed the little girl on top of the dying woman.
The judge ripped into Gilford for the brutal attack and traumatizing his young daughter, sentencing the sailor to 100 years behind bars, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. While the little girl was physically unharmed, she had witnessed the entire gruesome incident and will forever have to remember the killing on her birthday.
Eric Gilford's attorney said that the man had suffered a history of psychological problems prior to the attack; however, he had downplayed and struggled to hide the problems so he would not jeopardize his naval career, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
While Gilford's attorney said that he had never previously acted violently toward anyone, given the brutality of the killings, it is not hard to imagine that Gilford had displayed warning signs of violence in the past.
When a spouse or significant other is subject to abuse, or threats of abuse, that person can oftentimes take steps before the abuse becomes deadly.
For example, victims of abuse can seek out a temporary restraining order (TRO). This is typically a court order that requires the abuser to stay from the victim. If the abuser violates the TRO, the abuser can be jailed.
For immediate threats of harm, the victim should simply call police and have them intervene. At the least, they can extricate the victim from a dangerous situation.
Eric Gilford killed his pregnant wife and unborn child. He also traumatized his little girl. For the death of Courtney Gilford, the Navy recruiter received 100 years behind bars. But one must wonder if the death could have been avoided.
- Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Navy recruiter gets 100 years in pregnant wife's slaying (Chicago Tribune)
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- Married Ex-Cop Devin Bickham Arrested for Murder of Girlfriend (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)