Anthony Hobson is the Queens, NY man who was arrested on February 8 and charged with the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Jennifer Irigoyen. Prosecutors charged Hobson, 48, with murder. But in a move which has angered pro-life advocates, the prosecution said they were unable to charge Hobson in the death of her unborn child.
Here’s what you need to know about Anthony Hobson:
1. The DA Said That New York’s New Reproductive Health Law Means Hobson Can’t Be Charged with Abortion
Prosecutors say they initially planned to charge Anthony Hobson, 48, with abortion in the second degree. Under New York State’s previous laws, that would have been a felony count. But prosecutors said that the new Reproductive Health Act, which was signed into law by New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, makes abortion into a public health issue, rather than a crime.
Cuomo signed the law in January, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade. The governor said the bill would ensure that women in New York would continue to have access to abortion even if Roe v Wade were overturned. The law takes abortion out of the state’s criminal code, protecting doctors who perform abortions from facing criminal prosecution. The law also now allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions in New York, without facing prosecution.
Pro-life politicians and advocates say that the law is “out of step” with the rest of the country and that it allows criminals to get away with killing pregnant women. “With New York’s law, we’re saying you can take a life and escape any punishment,” Assemblyman Brian Manktelow told the New York Post.
2. Hobson Allegedly Fled the State After Irigoyen’s Death but Later Turned Himself in to Prosecutors
Prosecutors charged that Hobson stabbed Jennifer Irigoyen outside of her apartment in Ridgewood, Queens on February 3. During Hobson’s arraignment on February 8, the DA told the court that Hobson had fled from the state after stabbing Irigoyen; the prosecution said that Hobson came back and turned himself in after his family told him that police were looking for him. The DA also stressed that Hobson knew that Irigoyen was five months pregnant when he stabbed Irigoyen in the abdomen.
“The defendant beat and dragged the victim, Jennifer Irigoyen, down the stairs and then brutally stabbed her in the neck, abdomen and torso,” Assistant DA Bryan Kotowski said. “The defendant knew that the victim was 14 weeks pregnant at the time. The day of the investigation, the defendant not only fled Queens County, but fled the state. He only turned himself in when his family informed him the police were looking for him. ”
3. A Witness Heard Irigoyen Yell, ‘He’s Got a Knife! He’s Going to Kill the Baby!’
Assistant DA Bryan Kotowski told the court that Anthony Hobson was fully aware that Jennifer Irigoyen was pregnant when he allegedly stabbed her repeatedly. Authorities said that Hobson dragged her down three flights of stairs and then “brutally” stabbed her in the abdomen, the neck, and the torso in the vestibule of her building in Ridgewood, Queens. Surveillance camera footage shows Hobson at around 1 a.m. as he dragged Irigoyen from the hallway of her apartment. A witness told the New York Post that Irigoyen yelled, “He’s go a knife! He’s going to kill the baby!”
Irigoyen was taken to a nearby hospital but neither she, nor her unborn child, could be saved. The 35 year old Irigoyen was a real estate agent who taught Zumba and ballroom dancing classes as well. She was also a classically trained pianist who had a young child from a previous relationship.
4. Hobson, 48, Could Face Life in Prison if Convicted
Prosecutors told the court that Anthony Hobson had shown no regard for human life when, they said, he stabbed his pregnant girlfriend inside her Queens apartment building on February 3. “This was a heinous crime,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said at the hearing when Hobson was arraigned. “The defendant is alleged to have shown no mercy and no regard for human life when he repeatedly and purposely plunged a knife into this expectant mother’s abdomen, torso and neck.”
Hobson has been charged with murder, tampering with evidence, and criminal possession of a weapon. Prosecutors had initially planned to charge him with abortion, but said they had to withdraw that charge because of New York state’s new Reproductive Health Act, which de-criminalizes abortion. Fox has reported that Hobson could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
5. Irigoyen’s Family Says They Pray She Continues to ‘Dance Among the Stars’
Irigoyen’s family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the costs of her funeral. The page quickly filled up with messages from well-wishers, and donations poured in from people sympathetic to the family.
Irigoyen’s family and friends described her as a deeply talented woman who brought laughter into the lives of those who knew her. The GoFundMe page says, “it was difficult to write these lines because there are no exact words to describe the pain that her loss has brought to our family. Jenny Irigoyen was a daughter, sister, cousin, mother, and friend. If you ever had the pleasure of interacting with her, I am sure that laughter dominated that interaction. She loved to laugh, joke, and just be her silly self. She was extremely talented and tried her best to share her many talents with the world. She was a graceful salsa dancer and teacher, classical pianist, enjoyed interior design, and followed her passion in becoming a real estate agent.”