No jury for Garswood holidaymaker's USA murder trial

A woman is to go on trial this month accused of murdering a Garswood holidaymaker in the America.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:21 am
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:29 am
Denise Webster

Denise Webster, 61, died from a knife wound to the chest while a guest at her alleged assailant’s home in New York State.

The prime suspect, 67-year-old Faye Doomchin, denies second degree murder.

February 19 will see the start at New York State Supreme Court of what is called a “bench trial” - one which dispenses with the services of a jury at the defendant’s request. A judge need not grant this request but did so at a conference hearing this week.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

District attorneys will both prosecute and defend - unless Doomchin decides to defend herself.

Denise had travelled to America to see an Adam Lambert concert in August 2018 and, during her three-week break in Queen’s, police said she had gone for lunch with her male host to Doomchin’s home in Great Neck, Long Island, where they had a coffee and listened to the man play the piano. But then events took a violent and tragic turn.

Det Lt Stephen Fitzpatrick, of Nassau County police, later issued a statement which read: “While they were sitting in the living room, they were talking and Doomchin made statements that she did not like the woman from England. At around 3.50pm, Doomchin claimed she needed to rid the house of evil.’ She then appeared from the kitchen with a kitchen knife, walked right over to her and stabbed her in the chest.”

Denise was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“We have nothing to indicate anything that would have sparked this incident,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “The two women had never met before. They just met that day, had lunch and this incident happened.”

It was later revealed by Denise’s widower Tommy that his wife had only months earlier been given the all clear after a five-year cancer battle.

Police said Doomchin lived at the home with her husband and 22-year-old daughter. She has previously been cleared of a non-fatal stabbing on mental health grounds.