Monday, December 19, 2011

Viktoria Ivanova


N.J. man charged in pair of slayings Henry C. Stubbs 3d, who has also been questioned about his stepdaughter's death, is accused of murder and rape.

Henry Christopher Stubbs 3d, the abusive stepfather of a Camden teenager whose body washed up on a Margate beach in the fall, was arrested yesterday and charged with the Dec. 7 killings of a Wilkes-Barre mother and her 6-year-old daughter.

Authorities in Luzerne County say Stubbs raped and strangled 34-year-old Elena Herring and hanged her daughter, Viktoria Ivanova, from a pipe in the basement after breaking into Herring's home.

Authorities say he also stole Herring's 2001 Mitsubishi Galant, firearms, a purse, and a credit card.

Stubbs, 37, is charged with two counts of murder, theft, rape and burglary. His lawyer, John Donovan, said Stubbs denies involvement in the killings and has said he had consensual sex with Herring that night.

Investigators from New Jersey have questioned Stubbs about the death of his stepdaughter, 15-year-old Shanina Gilmore, Donovan said. "I don't believe he told them anything about that case," he said.

In 1997, Stubbs sexually abused Gilmore, according to the girl's mother, Charlotte Gilmore. He pleaded guilty in 1999 to a reduced charge of endangering the welfare of a child and was required to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. A judge sentenced Stubbs to five years' probation and recommended community supervision for life.

Shanina Gilmore's partially clad body, hands bound behind her with duct tape, washed up on a Margate beach in early November. Authorities did not identify her until last week.
Stubbs has not been charged in his stepdaughter's death.

Atlantic City Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz, whose office is handling the investigation of Gilmore's death, declined comment on the case yesterday.

Charlotte Gilmore said she was happy about Stubbs' arrest. The couple separated in 1999 after he was accused of the assault, and they later divorced.

According to an affidavit filed in Luzerne County, Stubbs' girlfriend, Tammy Carroway, told investigators that the night of the killings, she and Stubbs were lying in bed at Stubbs' mother's home, which is next door to Herring's house.

Stubbs asked Carroway for money before telling her there was money in the house next door. He then left.

A short time later, Carroway said, she heard a woman's pleading voice followed by an abrupt silence.

She then heard a little girl's voice say "Mommy, Mommy!" and then more silence.

Later that day, Carroway told police that Stubbs told her, "You know what I had to do, you know I didn't have no money." He also told her to "shut up . . . you know I killed before and shut up or I'll kill you," according to the affidavit.

Stubbs has been in custody in connection with the Herring case since Dec. 12 on lesser charges. He was being held without bail at the Luzerne County Jail.

Her small body was motionless as it hanged from the basement ceiling.

A shiny pink nightgown - decorated with butterflies and flowers and stained with blood from her shattered nose - draped her body. Her head was bowed with both eyes shut, arms at her side and toes pointing to the ground.

It was a vivid videotape picture of how 6-year-old Viktoria "Vika" Ivanova's body was found hanging in the middle of a basement room inside her Stark Street.

The tape was shown to jurors...

...the girl suffered a serious blow to the face, similar to having her face smashed off a concrete floor, causing the girl to bleed profusely.

Still alive, the girl began to suffocate on her own blood, which contributed to her death

One juror prevented convicted murderer Henry C. Stubbs III from being put to death.

The Luzerne County jury of six men and six women were deadlocked Thursday after three-hours of deliberations where they debated Stubbs' fate. In the end, the jury was not able to unanimously agree to impose the death penalty against Stubbs, who was convicted Wednesday morning on two separate counts of first-degree murder for the Dec. 7, 2001, brutal slayings of 6-year old Viktoria "Vika" Ivanova and her 33-year old mother, Elena Herring.


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