OLD TOWN, Maine — The pregnant mother stabbed to death in her apartment on Wednesday had filed a protection from abuse complaint in August against the man who killed her, according to court records.
April Haskell, 35, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend Christopher Ouellette, 28, in their Middle Street apartment on Wednesday evening. Ouellette later was shot and killed by a state trooper.
According to co-workers and friends, Haskell was 27 weeks pregnant when she died.
After an autopsy, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Margaret Greenwald determined that Haskell died from multiple stab wounds and confirmed she was pregnant, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
On Aug. 19, Haskell filed a complaint for protection from abuse at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, but withdrew it two days later. On the complaint form, she marked the box indicating she was “in immediate and present danger of abuse by the defendant and I ask that the court issue a temporary order to protect me without prior notice to the defendant.” Under Maine law, when that box is marked, a judge reviews the form as soon as possible and decides whether to issue a temporary order.
Court documents do not indicate whether such an order was served to Ouellette, but a handwritten note on the case file indicates an order was forwarded to the Penobscot Regional Dispatch Center for service. The dispatch center on Friday referred inquiries to the Maine State Police, which is investigating Haskell’s death. State police could not immediately confirm if the order was served to Ouellette.
In her complaint, Haskell wrote: “He is constantly fighting and yelling at me. He is stressing me out daily by arguing with me and I am upset daily and I am pregnant. He calls me a whore and says I’m always lying to him. He puts me down and I am always sad or stressed out. I had to call the police today.”
Haskell requested that Ouellette stop abusing her, have no contact and not follow or be at a place she may be. She also said in the complaint that Ouellette did not possess or have access to a firearm.
On Aug. 21, Haskell filed a prejudgment motion to dismiss the complaint.
“We have a case manager behavior specialist and counselor coming to meet with us [three times] a week,” she wrote in the motion to dismiss. “The order was so he would have to leave my home, but it prevents him from being able to be around our children. He is staying with friends where our children can not go.”
It was not the first time the couple had trouble in their six-year relationship.
Ouellette was charged with two counts of domestic violence assault, both Class D misdemeanors, on June 29, 2009, for an incident that occurred a month earlier on May 24. The first charge claimed Ouellette “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily or offensive physical contact to” Haskell’s son the couple didn’t share. The second charge was the same, but against April Haskell.
He pleaded no contest and was found guilty on the second charge on June 25, 2010. The first charge was dismissed by the district attorney’s office. Ouellette was ordered to pay a $300 fine.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.