A neighbor was charged Wednesday with stabbing to death a couple, their two children and the woman's unborn child in the family's home, police said Wednesday.
Newton Carlton Slawson, 34, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of manslaughter. The manslaughter charge applied to the killing of the fetus, police spokesman Wiley Howell said.Slawson, who was arrested Tuesday night about an hour after the killings were discovered, was being held without bail, Howell said.
The carnage, described by police as "very gruesome," was discovered in the east Tampa home of Gerald A. Wood, 23, and Peggy Williams Wood, 21, at 9:50 p.m. Tuesday. Mr. Wood, and the couple's two children, Jennifer Lynn, 4, and Glendon Matthew, 3, died in the home. Mrs. Wood, who was eight months pregnant, died Wednesday morning at Tampa General Hospital.
"We're still trying to figure out what kind of monster would do something like this," said police spokesman Steve Cole. "Everybody is asking, `Why? How could this happen?' Hopefully we have the monster who did this."
Following the stabbings, neighbors said, Mrs. Wood managed to walk downstairs for help, and as she reached the door, her brother Curtis Williams, 17, was walking in.
"I was coming into the house to get something to eat and she opened the back door," he said. "I seen Peggy laying on the cement."
Williams ran to the home of neighbor Johnny Wells for help.