NORTHWOOD — A Northwood woman was allegedly stabbed to death by her former live-in boyfriend despite having a no-contact order against him in place.
Justina Marie Smith, 30, was the victim of Monday’s stabbing in Northwood’s Swensrud Park.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation released Smith’s identity Tuesday afternoon.
Tyrone Washington Jr., 39, also of Northwood, has been charged with first-degree murder in Smith’s death. He is being held in the Scott County Jail on $500,000 cash-only bond.
According to a news release issued by the DCI on Tuesday, a severely-wounded Smith called 911 Monday morning for help. She identified her attacker as Washington. Smith told authorities Washington had fled the scene in her 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix.
She was later pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.
At about 3:30 p.m. Monday, the Pontiac was spotted by an Iowa State Patrol trooper heading eastbound on Interstate 80 near the 276 mile marker.
The trooper attempted to stop the car and a pursuit ensued. The suspect’s vehicle left the roadway near the 289 mile marker and drove through corn and bean fields along the interstate.
During the pursuit, intentional vehicle contact was used by the State Patrol, resulting in damage to the Pontiac and State Patrol vehicles.
Washington was taken into custody and transported to the Scott County Jail in Davenport where he is being held on various traffic charges related to the pursuit.
According to neighbors, the pair met at Schoolside Apartments, 607 Seventh St. N., Northwood, where they both lived separately and then together at various times.
Their relationship had been volatile since an argument on July 6, according to district court documents.
According to court records, Smith returned home from work at Casey’s General Store in Northwood at about 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. She changed clothes, then went into the kitchen. Washington followed her asking what was wrong. An argument ensued over household chores.
Smith said she told Washington that if he couldn’t help out, “he could get out.”
According to Smith’s account of the incident, Washington started yelling, “Who do you think you’re talking to?”
He came towards her and grabbed her around the neck, choking her as she cried for help.
Smith ran to the bedroom but before she could get the door closed, Washington slammed it open knocking her to the floor.
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He got on top of her and started to choke her again. Eventually he let her go.
The incident ended when her son entered the bedroom.
As a result of the July 6 incident, Washington was charged with domestic abuse assault and interference with official acts, and violation of a no-contact order. Although it was unclear when the no-contact order was issued.
On July 31, Smith requested the restraining order and all other charges stemming from the July 6 incident be dismissed. But no court action was taken on that request leaving the no-contact order in force.
“Tyrone is no threat to me or my family,” she wrote. “I love him and want to be with him. I know he loves me and also wants to be with me.”
Her latest address was listed as 305 Fifth St. N.
A contempt hearing on Washington's alleged violation of the no-contact order was to be held on Thursday, Aug. 8.
According to two Schoolside residents who wanted to remain anonymous, the pair didn’t fight in public.
“I didn’t see it,” said one woman. She said Smith had not lived at Schoolside in the last month.
Another woman described Washington as “hard working.”
“He was always trying to find good jobs to get him a car,” she said. “He went to work early and worked double shifts. We always saw him in his work uniform.”
Washington also worked at the Casey’s in Northwood.
They said Smith was very quiet.
“She kept to herself. She never stayed outside,” according to one of the women.
Both neighbors were surprised by Monday’s events.
“He doesn’t seem like that type of person to do anything like that.”
They said the DCI was at the apartment complex for most of the day Monday.