The suspect in a domestic dispute that turned deadly Sunday morning in Webster, Massachusetts, was ordered held on $200,000 bail at his arraignment Monday.
Sobbing loudly and barely able to stand on his own, 51-year-old Joseph Kenadek of Webster appeared in Dudley District Court, just one day after a violent argument between him and his longtime girlfriend — 43-year-old Brenda Hatheway — ended in her death.
"The argument spilled out into the street outside their apartment," said Assistant District Attorney David Feraco. "The deceased was struck at least one time by the defendant."
Witnesses told police Kenadek punched Hatheway, knocking her down – leaving her, before returning, reportedly punching her three more times and allegedly stomping on her head with his foot.
Investigators say Kenadek admitted they were both using heroin overnight.
Hatheway's daughter, Toni Usher, was one of several of the victim's relatives who shouted their support for Kenadek in court.
"What happened was very tragic, obviously, but I know that their relationship was toxic," she said. "Between the both of them, it was equally toxic. They just weren't good for each other, although they loved each other very, very much."
Usher says while she doesn't condone what happened, she wants everyone to understand she believes it was an accident.
"I don't, believe deep down in my heart, that Joe has it in him to do that to somebody he loved so much," she said.
It’s unclear if Hatheway's young son saw what happened. He’s now staying with family members.
The victim in this case appeared in the news after the highly publicized disappearance of another one of her daughters – Sabrina Hatheway – around the time that her house caught fire New Year's Day in 2015.
Her boyfriend and two other men were arrested in connection with that alleged arson, but Sabrina Hatheway has never been found.