EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 12, 2013

Woman accused of stabbing boyfriend three times held without bail

By Paul Tennant
ptennant@eagletribune.com

---- — LAWRENCE — A North Andover woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend three times, first with a hypodermic needle, then a steak knife, was ordered held without bail yesterday.

Elna Brienzi, 32, of 143 Pleasant St., apartment C, North Andover, was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon early Thursday morning after her 37-year-old boyfriend called police and said she had stabbed him.

The victim was treated at Lawrence General Hospital for two stab wounds on his left arm, one on his forearm, the other at the rear of his shoulder, according to a report filed with Lawrence District Court by Officer Scott Whittaker. He was also stabbed with a hypodermic needle filled with the drug Narcon in his buttocks, police said.

During the dangerousness hearing, Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Nasson asked that Brienzi be held without bail, saying there were “no conditions of release that would assure the safety” of the victim or others. Nasson said Brienzi was drinking alcohol before the incident and taking a psychiatric drug.

She then became angry, stabbed her boyfriend with a needle, then with a knife, the prosecutor said.

The boyfriend yelled, “Elna, stop it, there’s blood running down my arm!” according to Nasson, who said Brienzi is dual-diagnosed with mental health and substance abuse issues. The defendant has been “actively abusing drugs” and tried to hang herself, Nasson told the court.

Attorney Jessica Pacheco, who represents Brienzi, acknowledged that “the facts are serious” and that her client displayed “very abnormal behavior” Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Yet Brienzi’s boyfriend “wants her back living with him,” Pacheco said. She asked Judge Michael Uhlarik to release Brienzi on the condition that she continue her psychiatric treatment.

She said Brienzi was “clear-headed” yesterday and would be willing to attend whatever program the court ordered for her.

Judge Uhlarik ordered Brienzi held at Framingham State Prison as a dangerous person for up to 90 days. He also ordered her to return to court July 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Brienzi was drinking alcohol and taking Xanax, a drug that is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, according to Whittaker’s report. She went into her boyfriend’s bedroom at 10 p.m. Wednesday, stabbed him with a dirty needle filled with Narcon and accused him of cheating on her, according to Whittaker’s report.

She stabbed him with a steak knife at around midnight, according to reports filed by Whittaker and Officer Joseph Kamal, who arrested her.

She also stabbed a wall in her apartment numerous times, police said.

Police took four Faberware knives from the scene as evidence. Brienzi told her boyfriend she would “rather be shot by police than go back to jail,” according to officers’ report.