Crime News

Stephanie Fernandes explains her stained clothes while in police custody for stabbing of fiancé Andrew Wagner: “This is Andrew’s blood”


In the predawn hours of May 8, 2014, Stephanie Fernandes was desperate to learn from police what had happened to her fiancé, Andrew “Andy” Wagner.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES (crying): I — I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Please.

OFFICER PERO: Stephanie, just —

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Please, tell me if he’s OK.

OFFICER PERO: Stephanie —

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Please, no 

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: This is like a nightmare, a walking nightmare …

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: …what happened to him I can’t take it.

OFFICER PERO: I know this is, I know this is a traumatic night, OK?

STEPHANIE: No, no. Please tell me Andy’s OK.

OFFICER PERO: We have to get through this, OK?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Oh, please tell me Andy’s OK, please … 

At around 10:30 the night before, after a sudden bloody encounter with Andy at their home in Worcester, Massachusetts, Stephanie says she couldn’t find her cell phone, so she rushed to a neighbors’ house to get help.

Angelina Fernandes (driving with Peter Van Sant to her former home): It’s coming up on the left.

Peter Van Sant: Which house?

Angelina Fernandes: Right here on the left.

Stephanie’s daughter Angelina Fernandes now 20, was just 11 years old that night.

Peter Van Sant: Where was your bedroom?

Angelina Fernandes: Um, I don’t know, upstairs.

Peter Van Sant: But can you still remember.

Angelina Fernandes: Yeah, it’s like pictures.

Angelina Fernandes and Peter Van Sant.
Angelina Fernandes, 20, talks to “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant. She was 11 when her mother was accused of murder.

CBS News


Angelina Fernandes: So, I was sleeping, and I heard the door slam shut, and it woke me up. And then I just heard my mom from outside, “Help me, someone help me.” And then I just hear my mom screaming and crying.

Peter Van Sant: When you looked from that balcony down and could see your mother and Andy –

Angelina Fernandes: Mm-hmm (affirms) … there’s blood everywhere.

Angelina Fernandes:  And then I saw them giving CPR on him.

Angelina Fernandes: I just remember my mom. … And then she spotted me upstairs and she pointed at me, and she was like, “Someone get her, someone get my daughter!”

Police took Angelina to a relative’s house. Andy was rushed by paramedics to the hospital. Police took Stephanie to the station, where she was led into an interrogation room and interviewed for almost three hours.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: No. No. Please tell me Andy’s OK.

OFFICER PERO: We have to get through this, OK?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Oh, please tell me Andy’s OK … I can’t even talk. Like, he’s my life. It doesn’t even matter. Like, I love him so much …

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Please. I don’t—no, no. I don’t know what to do. Like,

I’m gonna freak out …

OFFICER: Sit down for a second.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I don’t wanna hear nothin’. I don’t wanna hear nothin’. And if anything bad happened to my family, no, please don’t tell me. I know I look psycho. Please.

OFFICER PERO: Stephanie —

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Please.

OFFICER PERO: —  just for right now, I just want to get some basic information.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: OK.

Stephanie Fernandes police interview
Stephanie Fernandes was taken to the Worcester Police Department where she was interviewed for almost three hours.

Worcester Superior Court


Detective William Pero led the questioning

OFFICER PERO: Before we talk about the incident that occurred tonight, I have to read you your rights. 

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: OK.

OFFICER PERO: You have the right to use a telephone to … contact an attorney. Do you understand this right Stephanie?

OFFICER PERO: Right now, we can’t talk to Andrew. I can talk to you, OK.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Why can’t you talk to him?

The officers press on, telling Stephanie that Wagner is in the hospital. Stephanie appears to settle down a bit.

OFFICER PERO: Well, something did happen. You’re covered in blood.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I know. No. Oh yeah …

OFFICER PERO: You have a lotta blood on you and that’s, I would assume that’s Andrew’s blood?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Yes. This is Andrew’s blood.

Stephanie changes into a white coverall. And two hours into her interview finally learns Andy’s fate.

OFFICER PERO: Andrew is no longer with us. And there’s a reason why that happened, but we don’t know that reason yet.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Oh my God. Oh my God.

Stephanie is told Andy is dead. She begins to reveal details of what happened that night.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: What happened was we got into an altercation, and he was hitting me. And that’s what happened. And he pulled out a knife and guns. … He started like choking me and hittin’ me and stuff.

An autopsy would later reveal Wagner had bled to death after being stabbed in the neck. Stephanie was later charged with first-degree murder.

Stephanie Fernandes is talking publicly for the first time about the death of her fiancé Andrew Wagner.

Stephanie Fernandes: I never, never, and never would kill someone, harm someone in that way, on purpose.

Stephanie Fernandes: I will always love him.

Stephanie Fernandes and Andrew Wagner
Stephanie Fernandes and Andrew Wagner moved in together almost immediately after meeting and eventually got engaged. 

Maura Tansley/Defense team


But how did it come to this? Just five years earlier Stephanie was smitten with Andrew Wagner.

Stephanie Fernandes: Blue eyes, really nice smile, … Nice hair. … just really handsome and

Um, really fun personality, very talkative.

Peter Van Sant: And did you feel an attraction to him right away?

Stephanie Fernandes: Yes, I did. We had chemistry, a lot.

At the time, Andy worked at the tire shop of a Costco. He dreamed of working in law enforcement. In the beginning, Angelina got along with him.

Peter Van Sant: What kind of things would — did you guys do together?

Angelina Fernandes: We used to watch “Criminal Minds” together.

Peter Van Sant: Did your mom ever tell you … “Angelina, I, I love Andrew, I — I’d like to — I’d like to marry Andrew someday?”

Angelina Fernandes: Yes. She wanted that so bad. … a stable family for me and her. … She just — she wanted that.

But what Angelina didn’t know at the time was that her mother’s life with Andy Wagner also had a violent side, recalled Stephanie’s friend Danielle Lord.

Danielle Lord: She constantly had, like, grab marks on her arms. She had marks on her inside of her legs, like I have never seen in my life.

A VOLATILE RELATIONSHIP

Angelina Fernandes (referencing a photo with her mother): The little girl is me, and my mom is next to me, Stephanie Fernandes. … so tender and loving and … She was high energy and — I was like her little sidekick.

Angelina was just 6 years old when Andrew Wagner came into her life. She remembers good times at the beach, family gatherings and vacations.

Angelina Fernandes: We would actually go to Cape Cod every summer to his parent’s Cape house, which was fun.

Stephanie Fernandes,  Angelina Fernandes and Andrew Wagner
“She wanted to have, like, that picture perfect All-American dream family with a nice house and kids,”  said Angelina, pictured with her mother and Wagner.

Rena Johnson


Angelina Fernandes: She loved him. She wanted a house with him. She wanted to get married to him. She wanted babies.

In those early times, Angelina says her mom never said how she met Andy Wagner and never revealed what she did for a living that kept her away at night.

Danielle Lord: She was beautiful. … she just had these piercing eyes, first, that you notice. And her hair was just beautiful.

Danielle Lord worked with Stephanie in a Massachusetts night club.

Danielle Lord: We both were very intimidating. A lot of men would say that we were intimidating, especially together. That’s attractive to men. … We just became this kind of duo.

Peter Van Sant: What did you do at the nightclub?

Stephanie Fernandes: I was a topless dancer.

Peter Van Sant: Exotic dancer –

Stephanie Fernandes: Exotic dancer, stripper, yeah.

Peter Van Sant: And had you been trained in dancing at all?

Stephanie Fernandes: I took dance classes when I was younger, not in that way.

Stephanie was a single mom.  She says after she split up with Angelina’s father, she needed to earn a paycheck.

Stephanie Fernandes: I would go in there, make a lotta money, and then I would get out

And — and be there for my mom … and my daughter.

Andrew Wagner
Andrew “Andy” Wagner

Worcester Superior Court


One night, back in 2009, a new guy at the club caught her eye.

Stephanie Fernandes: I was on stage. And he was there                           

Stephanie Fernandes: We just started talking and talked for, like, an hour.

Danielle Lord: She was instantly attracted to him. She wanted to be with him. She didn’t look at him like a customer. She was like, “Oh, this is a cute guy. I like him.”

At first, Stephanie loved the attention.

Stephanie Fernandes: I thought, “Oh he’s just into me. He just really likes me.”

Danielle Lord: I think she just had stars in her eyes.

Danielle says Stephanie and Andy’s relationship quickly became a little obsessive.

Danielle Lord: A lot of alarms went off whenever Steph met Andy. And — you know, alarms that she couldn’t hear. … He was completely … possessive right from the beginning. Andy was calling her nonstop, messaging her … and showing up at the club right from the beginning.

Stephanie and Andy moved in together almost immediately in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Danielle says their relationship moved from obsessive to dangerous.

Danielle Lord: I’ve never in my life seen bruises like that ever. And I don’t — I don’t even wanna think of what she went through to get the — those bruises. … We were covering it with makeup. … when she had the bruising down there, there was nothing you could do to cover it.

Soon after moving in together, Stephanie says, Andrew demanded some changes.

Peter Van Sant: Did he demand that you stop dancing?

Stephanie Fernandes: Oh, yeah. Yes. … His girl was not gonna dance at a club. And I said, jokingly, nervously, jokingly, “Well who’s gonna pay my bills?”

Peter Van Sant: And why did he want you to quit?

Stephanie Fernandes: Because of the attention, the men … taking off my top in front of men.

Stephanie says she stopped dancing, but the violence continued.

Stephanie Fernandes: He’s hit me in my head and my face.  He’s choked me …

Stephanie Fernandes black eye
Stephanie Fernandes says she took this photo of her black eye in 2010.

Credit: Worcester Superior Court


Stephanie says she took this photo of her black eye, shown above, in 2010.

Stephanie Fernandes: Oh, body shots. All over the place. My mouth. My eyes. Everywhere.

Peter Van Sant: Why didn’t you ever call the police and report this violence?

Stephanie Fernandes: I was told that bullets can go through paper. It would mean nothin’ with a restraining order. He would get to me way quicker than the cops would. And just — I would die if I left him.

Danielle Lord: I can’t explain it. It’s very hard to leave a domestic violence situation. … You don’t have your own money. You don’t have anywhere to go. … you know, you’re broken down completely. … Your brain is like scrambled eggs, and you can’t think for yourself. And you just walk around every day like … you’re in shock. … You just wanna end the day, and when you wake up the next day, it’s just another day doing the same thing. So … I think she was just stuck in a situation that she didn’t know how to get out of.

In spite of their volatile relationship, in 2012, Stephanie and Andy were engaged. A short time later, Andy became a corrections officer.

Peter Van Sant: You and Andy had bought a condo together. You were planning a wedding, correct?

Stephanie Fernandes: Yes.

Stephanie Fernandes and Andrew Wagner
Stephanie Fernandes said Andrew Wagner would become jealous, and threatened to kill her if she did not listen to him. But Fernandes admits she antagonized him, teasing and tormenting him with texts.

Worcester Superior Court


Peter Van Sant (hands photo to Stephanie): You seem happy in that picture. What went wrong?

Stephanie Fernandes: Severe jealousy.

But Stephanie admits it wasn’t just Andy. Sometimes she antagonized him, teasing and tormenting him with texts.

Peter Van Sant: They’re pretty vicious.

Stephanie Fernandes: Yeah.

Peter Van Sant: You admit that, right?

Stephanie Fernandes: I do. It’s embarrassing.

Van Sant asked Stephanie to read a few.

Stephanie Fernandes: “I’m gonna F your best friend.” “You should kill yourself.” “Hope a car falls on you.”

Stephanie Fernandes: I admit I’m flawed. … Yeah, I can get upset.

She says Andrew would get upset too — especially when she wore outfits that might make her attractive to other men.

Stephanie Fernandes: He’s freaked out over … the tank top that I was wearing, grabbed me, and then threw me on my bed in the room, and tore it off. Took out his gun, made sure I knew there was bullets it in, and jammed it down my throat.

Peter Van Sant: Did he threaten to kill you? Did he threaten to pull the trigger?

Stephanie Fernandes: If I — during that time — it was if I didn’t listen to him, yes that he was gonna kill me.

Angelina Fernandes: When he was mad, he’d turn into a different person. His whole face would get red. His pupils would dilate. It was like possession of demonic entity.

Angelina recalls seeing Andrew trying to headbutt her mother.

Angelina Fernandes: He’d go like — like that (demonstrating a headbutt).

Peter Van Sant: Would he bump her? When he headbutt –

Angelina Fernandes: No.

Peter Van Sant:  — would he literally make contact?

Angelina Fernandes: No.

Peter Van Sant: But it would go right up in her face?

Angelina Fernandes: Yeah.

Peter Van Sant: And –                                   

Angelina Fernandes: Yeah.

Peter Van Sant: And she called that a headbutt, right?

Angelina Fernandes: Yeah.

Peter Van Sant: And did that bother her

Angelina Fernandes: Mm-hmm (affirms).

By early 2013 Stephanie decided she and Angelina needed a change. She left Andrew and began a new relationship with an old boyfriend, Mike Laramee.

Stephanie Fernandes: I left Andy to get away from the abuse and a number of things.

wagner-laramee.jpg
By early 2013 Stephanie Fernandes left Andrew Wagner  and began a new relationship with an old boyfriend, Mike Laramee.

Worcester Superior Court/Rena Johnson


Stephanie says both men knew about each other.

Stephanie Fernandes: What I did with Andy, Mike knew about. What I did with Mike, Andy knew about.

She says Mike treated her very well.

Stephanie Fernandes: He spoiled me in every way. … He would carry me into bed if I fell asleep on the couch.

And just months after they got back together, Mike proposed, and Stephanie accepted.

Stephanie Fernandes: Mike brought me to Niagara Falls. … he did take out … the ring and

asked if I would marry him. … And I did wear the ring.

Peter Van Sant: Both men knew that you were engaged to the other man?

Stephanie Fernandes: Yes.

About a month later, Laramee says he broke off the engagement. Stephanie got back together with Andy, but she says it was more out of fear than love. 

Stephanie Fernandes: If I didn’t go back with Andy … he woulda killed Mike or definitely myself if I didn’t go back with him. He never woulda let me live.

Once Stephanie was back, she says the cycle of abuse resumed. Just three days before his death, Andy texted her.

Peter Van Sant: He said, “I’m going to f****** kill you.” Do you remember him texting that to you?

Stephanie Fernandes: I remember him texting that, saying that all the time.

Then, on the night of May 7, 2014, everything exploded.

Angelina was upstairs in bed. Stephanie says she was in the kitchen preparing dinner when Andy started an argument about what she’d been doing that week while he was away at work.

Stephanie Fernandes: That’s what started … the questions … what have I been doing all week, things like that — just escalated.

She says Andy wanted to have sex. Stephanie didn’t.

Stephanie Fernandes: He was punchin’ me in the head. Tryin’ to pin me down. Tryin’ to remove my pants.

Then, she says, he pulled out a gun and tried to pin her against the couch.

Stephanie Fernandes: I was in fear of my life. I was trying to get away.

Andrew Wagner death evidence
On May 7, 2014, Andrew Wagner and Stephanie Fernandes got into another altercation. This time, only one of them would survive. An autopsy report would later reveal that Wagner died from a stab wound to the neck. 

Worcester Superior Court


Stephanie says she grabbed a knife to scare him. What unfolded would soon end one life and destroy another.

Stephanie Fernandes: It just was so quick. He just charged at me, went to headbutt me, as he always would do.

Stephanie Fernandes
Stephanie Fernandes says the night Andrew Wagner died, he pinned her to her a couch and tried to choke her. Fernandes grabbed a knife from the kitchen and says Wagner tried to headbutt her as she held the knife in her right hand. Using a pen, she demonstrated to “48 Hours” how she held the knife.

CBS News


Peter Van Sant: How are you holding the knife?

Stephanie Fernandes (holds a pen to demonstrate): Like this.

Peter Van Sant: Show me. So, you have it up. And he’s coming at you, right?

Stephanie Fernandes: Yeah.

Peter Van Sant: And what happens?

Stephanie Fernandes: That’s when I’m like, “Stay away from me, stay away from me” as he’s screaming, “I’m gonna f****** kill you.” He’s on the other side. And he goes to grab my hand. … and it must have nicked his neck, the one-and-a-half- or two-and-a-half-inch, whatever it was.

Peter Van Sant: You held the knife that cut your fiancé’s artery and he bled to death. And people would think, well, you murdered him.

Stephanie Fernandes: My actions led to him dying. They did. But I didn’t make a decision to take his life. I did not want that to happen but if it wasn’t him, that would have been me in the ground.

WHAT HAPPENED THE NIGHT OF MAY 7, 2014?

As Stephanie Fernandes’ trial finally approached, her legal team prepared her defense.

Maura Tansley: Domestic violence or intimate partner violence was central to the entire case.

Maura Tansley was one of Fernandes’ attorneys.

Maura Tansley: It set up the nature of the relationship between these two people and I think raised questions about what happened … that night that Mr. Wagner died.

The trial had been delayed by procedural arguments, and then the COVID pandemic.

Stephanie had spent those years in home custody, wearing an ankle bracelet. In June 2022, eight years after Andrew Wagner was killed, the murder trial of Stephanie Fernandes finally began.

Andrew Wagner’s family was there. His mother Melissa, his father Tom, and his sister Jillian Cristaldi. They declined “48 Hours”‘ request for an interview. Surrounded by supporters, they were hoping that by the end of this trial, Fernandes would be behind bars.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Terry McLaughlin said Stephanie Fernandes stabbed her fiancé, Andrew Wagner, in the neck, cutting an artery and killing him. McLaughlin says that Stephanie told different stories about what exactly happened that night. She said, “He was waving a gun around, so I stabbed him.” And to a neighbor she said, “He hit me, so I hit him.” And McLaughlin said Stephanie had fits of rage and that she was the aggressor.

Wagner/Fernandes crime scene
Angelina Fernandes recalls seeing her mother in distress, her mother’s fiancé, Andrew Wagner, on the floor, and blood everywhere. 

Worcester Superior Court


Lead defense attorney Peter Ettenberg told jurors that Andrew Wagner was quote “189 pounds of fury and frustration” who violently came at Stephanie and said, “I’m going to kill you.” Ettenberg says Stephanie thought she would be killed, so she acted to protect herself.

Peter Ettenberg: We believe that when he grabbed her hands and went to go and headbutt her, he pulled and that pulled the knife into his neck.

But prosecutors presented witnesses who testified Stephanie has a long history of violent outbursts.

ASSISTANT DA JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: How many times did you see Ms. Fernandes strike Mr. Wagner?

DANIEL DISTEFANO: Multiple times, ma’am.

Daniel DiStefano was a friend of Wagner’s and a former police officer. He says he saw Fernandes hit Andy at a wedding reception back in 2010.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: And can you please tell the court where Ms. Fernandes hit Mr. Wagner?

DANIEL DISTEFANO: She very precisely struck him in the face and the head with a closed fist.

Peter Van Sant: Do you admit that, at times, you have hit men in your life with a closed fist?

Stephanie Fernandes: Hit?

Peter Van Sant: Hit them.

Stephanie Fernandes: No, I hit, well, yeah, I hit Andy once. … He punched me in the head I punched him back.

And Stephanie’s former fiancé, Mike Laramee, testified. He told the court that Stephanie pulled a knife on him at his home. This is audio of Laramee’s testimony.

MIKE LARAMEE: All of a sudden, I heard a ching of a knife coming out of the butcher block. And I came inside, and I hit it out of her hand.

And there was another knife incident.

MIKE LARAMEE: She went to my dining room table. And she was gonna carve it up. And I was afraid for my life. I grabbed a chair. And I wasn’t gonna let her come near me with it. … And she stabbed the chair with it like three or four times.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: After this happened, what, if anything, did you do?

MIKE LARAMEE: I grabbed all the knives. And I got rid of ’em.

Stephanie Fernandes
“My actions led to him dying. They did. But I didn’t make a decision to take his life. I did not want that to happen but if it wasn’t him, that would have been me in the ground,” Stephanie Fernandes told “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant of Andrew Wagner.

CBS News


Stephanie Fernandes: The things, that, like, Mike Laramee said are not true.

Peter Van Sant: You never came after Michael Laramee with a knife in your hand?

Stephanie Fernandes: I never did.

Peter Van Sant: You never damaged his furniture with a knife?

Stephanie Fernandes: No. I did not.

As Stephanie’s defense began, they called an unusual witness.

OFFICER PERO: My name is William Pero … I’m a Worcester police sergeant

The detective who interviewed her the night Andrew died.  The defense showed the jury that police video — a video the prosecutors had decided not to show. In that interview, Detective Pero points out Stephanie’s bruises.

OFFICER PERO (police video): I look at the bruises on you, OK? And they’re not old —

STEPHANIE FERNANDES (sitting on floor crying): Please tell me he’s OK —

OFFICER PERO: — and they’re not old bruises. I mean, they’re fresh.

Maura Tansley: The fact that there are fresh bruises on her … that’s consistent with how she described Andrew Wagner grabbing her and coming towards her, I don’t know what else … would be better to lay the foundation that she was acting in self-defense.

OFFICER PERO (police video): You have bruises on your face, on your arm, on your body. … I can see them, Steph.

Prosecutors show Pero photos taken that night. He says he sees a bruise on her arm, but not on Stephanie’s face.

TERRY MCLAUGHLIN (showing pictures) And do you see any injuries to the defendant’s face in this photograph?

PETER ETTENBERG: Objection judge.

JUDGE: Overruled.

OFFICER PERO: I do not.

TERRY MCLAUGHLIN: And do you see any injuries to the face of the defendant in this photograph?

OFFICER PERO: I do not.

The prosecutor suggests that during that interview he may have been playing Stephanie.

TERRY MCLAUGHLIN: Some of your questions or comments are designed to get the person you are interviewing to drop their guard and or talk to you, correct?

OFFICER PERO: To show empathy and to, to relate to me.

PROSECUTOR: You want them to start talking, correct?

OFFICER PERO: I do.

Two people fought that night back in 2014 and only one survived. The defense decided they had no choice but to put Stephanie on the stand.

Her defense attorneys walked her through the hours leading up to Andy’s death.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: We tried bein’ intimate.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY MAURA TANSLEY: That morning?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Yes.

MAURA TANSLEY: OK. And did it happen?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: No.

She says Andy became angry when she made fun of him.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I made the comment as I got outta bed, walkin’ into my bathroom. And he came in there and smacked me a few times.

Stephanie Fernandes trial
In June 2022, the murder trial of Stephanie Fernandes began. It had been delayed by procedural arguments and the COVID pandemic. While she awaited trial, Fernandes was on house arrest with a GPS monitor.

CBS News


Later that evening, with Angelina upstairs in bed, Stephanie says Andy with a gun in hand, attacked her. 

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Hit me in the head with the gun. Choked me. And he wanted … sex. Somehow, we were on the floor, and I was cryin’ and … I ended up gettin’ away … and I ran screaming and away, like, “Don’t come near me. Don’t come near me.” And he was screamin’, “I’m gonna kill you, you f*****’ bitch.” When I ran and I kept on sayin’, “Don’t come near me. Don’t come near me,” I— I—

DEFENSE ATTORNEY MAURA TANSLEY: Did he, did he listen to you when you said that? Or did he keep coming near you?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES (crying): It happened so quick where I ran to the kitchen … I picked up a knife and held it and said, “Don’t” like, screaming, anyways, the whole time, “Don’t come near me. Don’t come near me.” Andy, um, ran right to me and said, “Give me the knife, you f*****’ bitch”, and put his hand on my throat, and grabbed my hand, and went to headbutt me … and he went, “Steph, I think I got stabbed.” I just stood there I was in shock. I— we — I think we both were in shock.

THE CASE AGAINST STEPHANIE FERNANDES

After Stephanie Fernandes took the stand and told her version of events, the prosecutors got their turn to challenge her as Assistant DA Julieanne Karcasinas zeroed in on Stephanie’s history with men.

ASSISTANT DA JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: You claim that you were a loyal woman. Isn’t that correct?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Correct.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Now were you loyal to Andy when you cheated on him with Mike?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I don’t –

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Yes, or no?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I didn’t cheat on him.

Mike was Mike Laramee.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Now July 26th, 2013, you were in Niagara Falls. Isn’t that correct?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Correct.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: And you accept a $44,000 engagement ring from Mr. Laramee while on that trip. Isn’t that correct?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: That is correct. … I put it on my finger, yes.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Do you get engaged to all your guy friends?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: No.

On Stephanie’s second day on the stand, the prosecutor tried to pick apart her account of the day Andy died.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Ms. Fernandes, how many times did Andy choke you that day on May 7th, 2014?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: That day?

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Yes.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: In the, in the morning and … at the nighttime of the event.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: And then how long did he choke you for that morning?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I’m not sure. I didn’t count. I’m not sure. It was quick.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: And you had no marks on your neck?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I don’t remember.

Stephanie had described a struggle around the couch in the house that night. But the Assistant DA says the crime scene pictures don’t show any sign of that.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: The coffee table was in front of the couch on then —

JULIANNE KARCASINAS: Yes.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: —  at our house, yes.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Yes, and it’s not pushed out of the way, correct?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I can’t tell with that couch and how close the couch and coffee table is, but it does not look crooked.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Correct, it’s not pushed to the side or anything like that.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: How was he choking you on the couch?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: At one – it — all happened so quick.

And Karcasinas tries to cast doubt on Fernandes’ recollection of the night.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: So, you do not have a memory of certain parts of that evening, isn’t that correct?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: I would say that’s correct, like, the time and stuff like that.

And finally, Karcasinas questioned Stephanie’s credibility, especially her claims that she had lived her life in fear of Andy Wagner.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: Were you afraid of Andy Wagner when you told him he was stupid?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Yes.

JULIANNE KARCASINAS: Were you in fear of Mr. Wagner when you said to him, “I hope a car falls on you”?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: No.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: And were you in fear of Mr. Wagner when you sent him a photograph … of yourself performing … sex on Michael Laramee? Yes or no, ma’am?

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: No.

JULIEANNE KARCASINAS: No further questions, Your Honor.

STEPHANIE FERNANDES: Thank you.

JUDGE: Alright.

Both sides called in domestic violence experts who interviewed Stephanie. Carol Ball testified for the defense saying that Andrew Wagner’s escalating verbal threats and physical violence left Stephanie with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

CAROL BALL: My opinion is that she experiences the symptoms of battered woman syndrome also known as intimate partner violence. … That cycle repeats itself over and over.

And prosecutors called up their expert, David Adams, who concluded that Andrew — not

Stephanie — was the victim of abuse.

DAVID ADAMS: Well, I — I actually didn’t see any evidence that she was fearful of him.

Maura Tansley: I think this case raises some interesting questions about what it means to be a victim. Stephanie is not a sympathetic victim, right. … she is a flawed person and yet she is still a victim and still has a right to act in self-defense. … it’s much easier for us to understand someone as a victim of domestic violence where they have a perfect past, where there’s no other anger issues or anything else, but that’s not what we have.

The defense believes that this case will ultimately come down to whether jurors believe Stephanie intentionally murdered Andrew Wagner. A medical examiner who testified couldn’t say for sure.

Peter Ettenberg: He couldn’t rule out the fact that this was an accident.

And after 10 days of witnesses, the defense presented their closing arguments.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY PETER ETTENBERG: She picked up a knife and said, “Andy, stay away. Stay away.” He didn’t. This time for whatever reason it was too much. And the prosecution hasn’t proved that this wasn’t an accident. And they have not proved that it wasn’t in self-defense. … What the prosecution hasn’t proved is that Stephanie Fernandes is a murderer.

Prosecutor Terry McLaughlin disagreed.

ASSISTANT DA TERRY MCLAUGHLIN: She’s the aggressor. She’s the one with the temper. She’s the one with the mouth. … Ladies and gentlemen, I would suggest to you that this is first-degree murder. Premeditated and planned.

TERRY MCLAUGHLIN: She got him from the side, or she got him from the back from behind. … She grabs the knife, and she stabs him when he’s not lookin’ or he’s not ready for it.

With that argument, the case would go to the jurors.

SELF-DEFENSE, ACCIDENT OR MURDER?

If convicted of first-degree murder, Stephanie Fernandes could face life in prison.

Peter Van Sant: But the question is, did you murder him?

Stephanie Fernandes: No. … It makes me nauseous just to even think of that.

After about 9 hours of deliberation, jurors reached their verdict: guilty of a lesser charge —  voluntary manslaughter —  which carries the possibility of up to 20 years in prison. Shane Bernard and Gayla Bieksha sat on the jury.

Shane Bernard: I think they’re both – that both of them are equally controlling and abusive to each other, you know.

Gayla Bieksha: I agree.

Gayla Bieksha: I think they were both in this vicious cycle that just, they couldn’t stop themselves.

Shane Bernard: He was a more physical abuser where she was more psychological abuse.

Gayla Bieksha: I do believe she didn’t want to kill him, but she did.

As for Fernandes’ claims of self-defense, juror Gayla Bieksha believes Wagner made contact with the knife when Stephanie says he attempted to headbutt her.

Gayla Bieksha: The headbutt was a huge piece for us.

Shane Bernard: Yeah, right.

Gayla Bieksha: We … went off the medical examiner’s report saying that the knife went in from the front. The angle was in from the front and downward.

Shane Bernard: And that she had actually had a stabbing motion. So that, that in a sense, was what ruled out self-defense.

Before sentencing, Andrew Wagner’s family finally got to speak directly to the woman they believe murdered their son and brother.

JILLIAN CRISTALDI: My name is Jillian Cristaldi. I am the sister of Andrew.

My parents and I have waited to speak, to have a voice, to give my brother a voice, and to get him the justice that he deserves, to clear his name from the blatant lies that have been spewed from Stephanie Fernandes and her attorneys’ mouths for over eight years.

When you look at Stephanie Fernandes, you are looking at a face of evil, of someone who gives no consideration for her actions, who is incapable of love, and has shown no remorse or guilt for killing my brother.

The Wagner family
Andrew Wagner’s mother, Melissa Wagner, pictured with her husband and daughter, addressed the court at Fernandes’ sentencing. She said that Stephanie took everything from her son, and justice needed to be served

CBS News


Andrew’s mother Melissa Wagner.

MELISSA WAGNER: She took away Andrew’s joy and love of life. She took away all of Andrew’s family and friends. She took away Andrew’s dreams of a family of his own. She took away all of Andrew’s money. She took away Andrew’s dignity and self-respect. And when there was nothing, nothing, nothing left for her to take, she took away Andrew’s life. … I beg you Judge Reardon, and I beg you, I beg you, I beg you, take away the one thing that matters most to her. Take away her freedom for as long as possible. Please, please, please. Thank you.

JUDGE REARDON: I realize that no sentence I impose in this case can do perfect justice.

Judge James Reardon reminds everyone that Stephanie Fernandes was found guilty not of murder, but of voluntary manslaughter.

JUDGE REARDON: Ms. Fernandes is being sentenced for that conviction. Not for her relationship with Andrew Wagner or any other individuals or for her past life.

JUDGE REARDON: I sentence Stephanie Fernandes to a term of not more than 10 years and not less than eight years in state prison.

Peter Van Sant: After all this … According to what you have said, Andrew struck you, chocked you, threatened you with a pistol … do you still have some sort of emotion for this man? Some sort of love for this man?

Stephanie Fernandes: I do. I know it bothers a lotta people. I will always love him.

Stephanie Fernandes and Andrew Wagner
Stephanie Fernandes says she will always love Andrew Wagner.

Maura Tansley/Defense team


Stephanie says the night Andy died could have been avoided.

Stephanie Fernandes: Maybe the night wouldn’t have happened if I’d got him help. If I got us counselin’, if I got him therapy.

Peter Van Sant: Angelina, why did this happen?

Angelina Fernandes: Because he was abusive, and my mom was his victim.

Peter Van Sant: But his family blames your mother for that.

Angelina Fernandes: They’re going to believe what they want to believe. … I can’t imagine the pain they’re going through. I don’t think they want to see their deceased son that way. … So, they’re trying to blame my mom for all of the wrong he did towards her.

Angelina is now studying to become a forensic psychologist and she hopes to work with victims in court and with children. Angelina says she looks forward to the day she’ll be able to reunite with her mom.

Angelina and Stephanie Fernandes
Angelina looks forward to the day she’ll be able to reunite with her mom. 

Angelina Fernandes/Instagram


Angelina Fernandes: When she’s out of jail, she’ll be able to see all of my successes and she’ll be able to see everything that I’ve accomplished. … I want to accomplish all of my dreams so my mom can experience the happiness afterwards.

If you or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Stephanie Fernandes’ trial lawyers say she may be eligible for parole as early as 2026.


Produced by Chuck Stevenson. Hannah Vair is the field producer. Ryan Smith and Tamara Weitzman are the development producers. Annabelle Allen is the broadcast associate. Greg Kaplan, Michelle Harris, and Grayce Arlotta Berner are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer. 



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