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Motive at issue in Bay Shore slaying trial

Homicide Squad detectives charged Wesley Paul, 38, of

Homicide Squad detectives charged Wesley Paul, 38, of Bay Shore, with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing his wife to death. Credit: SCPD

A Bay Shore woman bled to death in her bathtub from a stab wound at the base of her neck, a deputy medical examiner testified Friday in State Supreme Court.

No one disputes that Monica Lisa Paul, 40, was stabbed by her estranged husband, Wesley Paul, also 40. The disagreement at the trial before Justice William Condon is over why he did it.

Paul is charged with second-degree murder, but defense attorney Ira Weissman of Central Islip will ask a jury to find that he acted during an extreme emotional disturbance and instead convict him of first-degree manslaughter.

"This was a marriage that went bad," Weissman said. Three months before he killed his wife on Aug. 7, 2010, Wesley Paul moved out after finding out she was seeing other men. Then they battled over access to their 6-year-old son.

He had been playing with the boy outside her apartment when he came in to talk to her about seeing his son more often.

"She emphatically says no," Weissman said. "He snaps."

Assistant District Attorney Dana Brown said it was simpler than that. "We believe the evidence has shown this is an intentional murder, and nothing less," she said.

After the argument, Wesley Paul went to the kitchen, got a knife and stabbed his wife four times while she was in the shower. Then he called police.

Dr. Odette Hall, a deputy medical examiner, said her autopsy found Monica Paul was stabbed four times -- once in the back, once in the right abdomen and twice on the left side of the neck.

It was the lower neck wound that killed her, Hall said. That time, the knife penetrated 4 inches deep and cut through her carotid artery and jugular vein.

That would have caused her to bleed to death and would have allowed air to travel to her heart, causing it to beat irregularly, Hall said. Monica Paul would have died "seconds to minutes" after that wound, she said.

Two wounds -- a cut on her left elbow and another on the back of her right hand -- showed she tried to fight off her attacker, Hall said. While attacking his wife, Wesley Paul was injured.

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