The Justice Department announced assault charges against the wife of an Army sergeant 1st. class assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, last week after the wife allegedly stabbed the soldier following an altercation over him not cleaning their couch, according to a criminal complaint.
Sgt. 1st Class “V.G.," as the husband is identified in the complaint, was transported to the University of Louisville Trauma Center where he was treated for a stab wound to his upper torso that caused a punctured lung on May 10.
The wife, identified as Chaniqua Boyd, said she didn’t intend to stab V.G. and that he instead “lunged into the knife” during their argument after she told him “I will defend myself if you come can any closer”.
Some experts have warned that domestic violence incidents are likely to increase during the coronavirus pandemic due to shelter-in-place orders, though women are the more common victims in such incidents. A federal attorney involved in this case alluded to a potential rise in those incidents when the charges were announced.
“Law enforcement must be especially vigilant during this pandemic of the risk of domestic violence and we will be especially aggressive in responding when it occurs,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman.
Both V.G. and Boyd have faced assault charges in the past, according to the FBI agent who wrote the latest criminal complaint. The couple were each charged with simple assaults in 2015 and 2018, according to their criminal history files cited in the document. On both occasions, the charges were dismissed.
“Ms. Boyd vehemently denies the allegations and looks forward to presenting the full version of events at the appropriate time,” said attorney Aaron Dyke, the federal defender representing Boyd.
Lawmakers said military leaders need to do more to address spousal abuse in the ranks and make families aware of support services.
“As the complaint indicates, Ms. Boyd had been in an abusive relationship, which she was in the process of ending,” Dyke added. “It is unfortunate that given that history, law enforcement thought it necessary to subject her to criminal charges.”
Fort Knox military police responded to a 911 call at the couple’s residence on post shortly after 2:30 p.m., the criminal complaint stated.
Boyd told law enforcement that the couple began arguing after she confronted him on his failure to clean the couch. Boyd said she pushed his face away, and V.G. responded in kind, the complaint stated.
“Both parties began spitting at each other which escalated when V.G. ‘came at [her],’” the complaint reads. “Boyd advised she was not aware V.G. had been stabbed, only that she put her hands up in defense and he started screaming that she stabbed him which she did not believe.”
She told law enforcement that she did not intend to stab V.G., and that he was the one who “came at her,” the complaint reads. She was holding the knife because she had been cutting turkey prior to the altercation, Boyd said.
V.G. agreed the fight started over his inability to clean the couch, which he said was because the vacuum used to do was missing a part. He also agreed that they had spat at each other, but said he attempted to “deescalate the situation by going to the upstairs bathroom,” though his wife followed him.
“Boyd then returned from the kitchen with a knife and said ‘I wish you would spit at me again,'” V.G. told law enforcement, according to the complaint. “She then followed V.G. to the kitchen and the two continued to argue. Boyd punched V.G. in the face twice and then stabbed him in the chest.”
V.G. said he heard Boyd get on the phone and tell an unknown person that V.G. had “jumped on her,” which V.G. denied, according to the complaint. He then searched for neighbors to help him with his wound before calling 911.
After their interviews with Army CID and assistance from the FBI, Boyd was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm.
Boyd appeared in court for a detention hearing on May 12. She was released on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled for another hearing on June 23 via video conference in the Western District of Kentucky.