A Waterbury man accused of murdering a young mother over the weekend faced a judge on Monday.
According to police, 32-year-old Camal Barnes was arrested and charged with murder in the death of 22-year-old Ebony Swaby.
Police say Barnes, Swaby's live-in boyfriend, shot her more than once in front of the couple's 2-month-old daughter. The incident happened inside their third floor Clifton Avenue Apartment Saturday morning.
"A lot of us have known him, been around family functions, none of us saw this coming and to have something like this happen is devastating to us all, it's unthinkable. There's no words, nothing we can do or say to make this better," said Tajanik Jones, who is the victim's niece.
Investigators said there was some sort of argument that spiraled out for control. The nature of the argument was not released.
It was Barnes who called 911 around 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, allegedly telling police Swaby came at him with a knife and he shot her.
"There's no dispute someone died, it's a question of what happened. My client is a veteran, staff sergeant, U.S. Army, treated for PTSD and I believe there is a history of domestic violence, even towards him," said Darnell Crosland, a defense attorney.
According to the police report, first responders found Swaby, who served in the U.S. Navy, on the living room floor. Her 2-month-old daughter was laying on a nearby sofa.
"This would have been her first Mother's Day, she was a brand new mother, loved her daughter, anything that happened with her daughter, she was right front in center. Egypt was the most important thing for her, so for us to get justice for her is to get justice for Egypt as well," Jones said.
Just hours before the shooting, neighbors reported seeing the couple hugging while caring for their child. They said they were stunned to learn the news.
"All these years I've lived here, the most we've ever had is a fire," said Emily Cortese of Waterbury.
Barnes was ordered to be held on a $3 million bond. He is due back in court next month.
A fundraising page has been set up for Swaby's service. To make a donation, click here.
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