ABS-CBN Balitang America
September 1, 2010
By Ted Regencia
Chris Allen Stone has been charged with second degree murder, after shooting Florence Madriñan-Stone twice in the head, according to a statement by Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney John T. Bujak.
Stone is in police custody at the Ada County jail. His bond is set at $1 million, and he is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Fox 12 Idaho reported.
The suspect is identified as a speech and language pathologist with the local Caldwell School District since August 2004.
On the social networking website Facebook, the late Madriñan-Stone, who has several Chicago relatives, listed the same school district as her employer. Caldwell is a town in the state of Idaho. It is about 12 hours northeast of San Francisco, California.
At 5:58 p.m. Sunday, the Canyon County Sheriff received a call about a shooting incident. When police arrived, they saw Madriñan-Stone “slumped in the back of a mini-van in the driveway” of the residence.
The caller was later identified as the husband. He was then taken into custody “without incident.”
Sheriff’s captain Dana Maxfield described the death to Idaho news outlets as “a domestic situation that’s gone horribly wrong.”
According to a cousin from Chicago, Madriñan-Stone had been living separately from her husband. This was also confirmed by a Chicago-based high school friend, who said the couple were in the middle of a divorce. They had been married for more than ten years and have two children.
While being treated at a local hospital, Stone claimed “self defense” in shooting his wife. He said that while loading items to her van, the victim reportedly retrieved a “steak knife” and “thrust it backwards into his abdomen.” He then drew his pistol from his pocket and “fired two rounds into the back of her neck.”
Later, when police pointed “inconsistencies” in his story, Stone “eventually changed” his statement.
Stone then told police that his wife “told him to the effect of ‘You’re stupid, don’t you know I just married you for the green card.'” He said the statement “set him off” and he pulled out his gun. At that point, the victim reportedly retrieved a steak knife and “stuck it into his abdomen.” That was when he “fired two rounds into her neck.”
But the prosecutor told reporters: “Self defense is something that a judge or a jury is going have to take a look at. Because we’re talking about bullets shot to the back of the head; it’s difficult for me to claim self defense on those facts.” Thus the second degree murder charge.
If convicted, the suspect will face a mandatory minimum 25 years, up to life in the Idaho State Penitentiary, the Idaho Press Tribune said.
The victim, Madriñan-Stone is originally from Zamboanga del Norte, a southern Philippine province. She has several Chicago-area relatives, including her mother Florefes “Flor” Madriñan and an aunt, Dr. Marilyn Talaboc Else.
Madriñan-Stone is also the niece of Dr. Carmencita Icao and Dr. Domiciano Talaboc, top physicians of the same province. She is a 1994 graduate of Saint Vincent’s High School in Dipolog City, the provincial capital.
Messages of sympathy were posted on the victim’s Facebook Page a day after the incident.
“I feel so sad about this. I pray that the Lord will take care of you and bring justice to this,” said Edmarc Brian Talaboc Else, a cousin and Navy corpsman.
“Florence I really am going to miss you. You were such a beautiful person inside and out. I pray for your family and children,” Jolie French Pecyna wrote.
This article was also published in the Philippine News
(NOTE: Photo of the victim was taken from her Facebook Page. Photo of the suspect was taken from Canyon County Sheriff through the Idaho Press Tribune. This reporter is a high school classmate for four years of then Florence Madriñan.)