Using a kitchen knife, a Great Neck woman fatally stabbed a visitor from England without warning on Monday, saying she had to “rid her house of evil,” Nassau County police said.
The woman, Faye Doomchin, 66, was arrested at her home on North Road and charged with second-degree murder. Through an attorney, she pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on Tuesday.
The stabbing victim, a 60-year-old woman whose identity was withheld pending notification of family members, was on a three-week visit to the United States and had just met Doomchin, police said.
Robert Gottlieb of Manhattan, Doomchin’s defense attorney, said in a telephone interview that the case has been “devastating to everybody” involved.
“There are no words to adequately express how tragic this case really is,” Gottlieb said. “There has been a long history of mental illness and Ms. Doomchin has been struggling with that and has been under the care of doctors for an extended period of time.”
Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said Doomchin was socializing with a male friend living “in the Queens area” and a female friend of his visiting from England. Together they had lunch, bought cake and returned to the home, Fitzgerald said, before Doomchin allegedly stabbed the woman once in the chest with a kitchen knife around 3:53 p.m.
“They were talking and the woman [Doomchin] made statements that she did not like the woman from England,” Fitzpatrick said, “that she needed ‘to rid the house of evil.’”
Fitzpatrick also said the stabbing was not premeditated, there were “no incidents prior to this,” alcohol was not involved and Doomchin did not know the English woman beforehand.
Vigilant Fire Company Chief Joshua Charry said the fire company dispatched an ambulance to deal with a stabbing at a North Road home just before 4 p.m. on Monday. However, he said, Nassau County police advised Vigilant to not go forward as they were responding.
Charry said the victim was transported to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where she was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m.
Fitzpatrick said Doomchin was previously arrested in 1999 for assault in the second degree, “where a weapon was also used.”
According to court documents acquired by Newsday, Doomchin was arrested for stabbing a woman twice in the back with an 8-inch kitchen knife in Great Neck in 1999. In that case, the records show, she pleaded no responsibility due to mental disease or defect and was “under mental health supervision” until 2014.
It is unclear what sparked the Monday incident, Fitzpatrick said.
Doomchin, as she was being escorted into a police vehicle, declined to speak with reporters.
A call to the Doomchin home was not returned on Wednesday. Police said she lived there with her husband and daughter.
A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department said the slaying is still under investigation by the Homicide Squad.
Gottlieb said it is early in the case and that the next step is to figure out “exactly what happened.”
“Certainly the most important aspect of the investigation right now is to first find out exactly what happened and then, without any question, attempt to understand why it happened,” Gottlieb said. “And once we complete that investigation, I’m sure the issue of mental illness is going to be a very significant aspect.”
Rabbi Joseph Geisinsky of Chabad of Great Neck said on Wednesday he knows Doomchin as a good person who would invite people – often without families – over for holidays and celebrations, make meals for people and reach out to others.
“She is always kind, she’s always welcoming people who are lonely and alone, and she’s welcoming them to her home,” Geisinsky said in a telephone interview. “We’re shocked to hear what happened – but she does have a history – but obviously nobody expected that; we’re all praying for her and her family.”
“I would like to ask everyone to pray,” Geisinsky said, adding that he’d like people to share only “good things.”
A woman in the Great Neck Mommies Facebook group also described her as a “nice lady.”