GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A woman accused of stabbing her 3-year-old son in Jones Park back in 2015 pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced Friday to 25-years in prison.
Nomattwe Gava-Hudson, 28, of Savannah, GA, said the crime was a result of an ongoing dispute between the child's father and herself. The two were married but separated, and the father had custody, as well as a protective order against the mother.
Just before the stabbing, which happened Oct. 6, 2015, Gava-Hudson drove from Georgia to Mississippi with the hope of convincing her husband to let her take the child back home. The husband eventually agreed to let their child return to Georgia for a short period of time. But just before the two parted, police say Gava-Hudson put a kitchen knife to his throat and said she was going to kill him.
The two struggled, but the husband was able to gain control of the knife and throw it to the ground. As he tended to his wounds, Gava-Hudson grabbed the child and pulled out a second knife she hid in the baby's blanket.
Officials say she stabbed the child once in the sternum, once in the abdomen, and once in the back, before stabbing herself.
When Gulfport Police arrived, Gava-Hudson initially portrayed herself as the victim and her husband as the attacker. Police said witnesses had even started to assault the man believing that he was the aggressor. The mother and child were taken to the hospital and the father was taken into custody.
But as officers started interviewing the witnesses they learned no one had actually seen the stabbing. They only responded after they heard screams.
"The interrogation by Gulfport Police solved this crime," Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen said. "Had they not pressed the defendant for the truth, she would have continued to blame the child's father. It was because of their due diligence that the defendant eventually admitted to committing the crime."
During the sentencing hearing, Gava-Hudson asked the court for leniency saying she was in a terrible mental state at the time of the crime because of financial stress and her failing marriage. She said she felt her only option was to take her husband's life, her child's life, and her own life.
But prosecutors said a psychologist who interviewed the defendant said although she was suffering from mental and emotional distress, it wouldn't interfere with her ability to know the nature and quality of her alleged acts or their wrongfulness.
"Despite his young age at the time of the crime, the victim is still well aware of what his mother did to him that day," District Attorney Joel Smith said. "He will live the rest of his life knowing that his mother tried to take his life. Crimes against children are a priority for our law enforcement community and today's conviction is a reflection of that focus."