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Slain woman became anti-violence activist after sister died


    Anthony Rutherford listens during his arraignment in court in Waterbury, Conn., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Rutherford is accused of killing an anti-domestic violence activist and her 9-year-old daughter.

HARTFORD, Conn. >> A woman who was found slain along with her young daughter last week had become an anti-domestic violence activist after her sister was killed four years ago, and authorities allege both women were killed by their boyfriends.

Chaquinequea Brodie and her 9-year-old daughter were found dead Friday in their Waterbury apartment. Brodie’s 2-year-old daughter was found physically uninjured at the scene. Police said they were called to a disturbance at the apartment complex.

“Callers reported a toddler was in the parking lot … screaming and that blood was everywhere,” police said in a news release.

Brodie’s boyfriend, Anthony Rutherford, was arraigned on murder and other charges Monday during an emotional hearing in Waterbury Superior Court. Shouting erupted, and a woman passed out and was treated by paramedics.

A judge set Rutherford’s bail at $5.25 million and continued the case to Sept. 27.

Brodie’s uncle, Clarence Brodie, called the killings “a very senseless act.”

“She was just a wonderful human being,” he said. “We’re all going to miss her, miss her dearly, and we’re just waiting for justice now.”

Brodie’s sister was Alyssiah Wiley, an Eastern Connecticut State University student whose dismembered body was found in Trumbull in 2013. Wiley’s boyfriend, Jermaine Richards, is facing a third trial on a murder charge, after the first two ended with deadlocked juries. Richards told police he had dropped Wiley off near campus.

After Wiley was killed, Brodie and her mother, Corrinna Martin, of West Haven, started Mothers of Victim’s Equality, a group that educates about dating and domestic violence.

Martin wrote about losing a second daughter in a posting on the group’s website and said her faith in God has not been shaken.

“The hardest thing for me as a parent to do is continue living on after suffering the brutally heinous lost of my baby … so I thought,” she wrote. “I know now that THE HARDEST THING is to continue to live on after suffering the brutally heinous lost of two more of my babies.

“I beg all of you to make things right with one another because life is way to short to continue to live it with hatred, malice and loathe in your heart and especially towards your family,” she wrote.

Police have not disclosed what led to Friday’s homicides or how the victims were killed. Authorities, however, charged Rutherford with gun crimes and said he had a handgun on him when he was arrested.

No one answered the phone at the public defender’s office, which represented Rutherford on Monday.

Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt declined to comment on the case.

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