The husband also said that he used methamphetamine the day of the incident.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 12, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of domestic abuse that some readers may find distressing.
Unfortunately, there has been a shadow pandemic going on along with the coronavirus pandemic. More and more women are trapped at home with their abusive partners and are facing the brunt of the situation. There have been more calls for help than ever before. In the case of domestic violence victims, many of them are unable to step out of their homes or get the care they need or the assistance they need to leave a toxic situation behind.
In an unfortunate incident, a pregnant mom-of-four passed away five days after she was hospitalized after her husband fatally beat her up. The Tacoma, Washington, mom was only 27 and her husband, 31-year-old Ian Sweeney, is facing first-degree assault and attempted murder in the second degree with a domestic violence enhancement.
Ian hurt his wife, Stephanie Chaipis, so severely that it ultimately led to her death. At the time, 27-year-old Stephanie was eight weeks pregnant. On January 20, 2021, police rushed to their home at around 7.30 p.m after receiving "reports of a female not breathing at a residence in the 5600 block of S. Park Avenue," a press release from the Tacoma Police Department stated.
The Fire personnel had responded first. "Upon arrival, they were advised the female had suffered injuries during a physical dispute with the father of her children. Police officers responded to the scene and detained the male suspect. The 27-year-old female was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries," the statement said.
The prosecution claimed that Ian told the police he had beaten his wife of 10 years and shoved her against a wall. He also took methamphetamine that day. The incident gets worse as the report also said that their four children, ranging from 1 to 8 years old, were home when it happened. One of the children saw him attack their mom, according to prosecutors, reported People.
Stephanie Chaipis Wiki, Stephanie Chaipis Biography— Wikibioin (@wikibioin) January 21, 2021
Stephanie Chaipis was a pregnant Washington woman who died after sustaining serious injuries in an alleged attack by her husband.https://t.co/X6gRmNZf46 pic.twitter.com/CQyTW3UQXg
He struck her multiple times before noticing that she looked unwell. He punched her in the chest, arms, thighs, and knees until her nose was bleeding. He stopped hurting her when she became dizzy. He then searched online for information about side effects of head trauma, court documents said. The father-of-four reportedly told the police, "It's my fault," as per Cafemom. He also copped up to using methamphetamine twice that day and added that they initially had a verbal altercation before he hit her.
He told his children that he was in big "trouble" and would most likely be "going to adult time out." According to Sweeney's statement, he openly questioned Stephanie's "devotion and commitment" to him before shoving her against a wall, which led to her hitting her head. The prosecution noted that he did not give her medical aid and called 911 only when he saw that she stopped breathing. According to prosecutors, the 27-year-old suffered head trauma, including a possible skull fracture, and was declared brain dead at the hospital. She was placed on life support but she died five days after hospitalization.
Pregnant Washington Mom Dies in Hospital 5 Days After Alleged Attack by Husband https://t.co/uAIJfKR8ZK— People (@people) January 20, 2021
The 31-year-old pleaded not guilty to his charges during an arraignment on January 13, The News Tribute reported. The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office told People that they will be upgrading Ian's charges following Stephanie's death. "It is heartbreaking that four children will now grow up without their mother," a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office says. "Our thoughts are with them as we seek justice in this case." The next hearing will be on February 11.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.