Lakeland woman claims she stabbed husband after slipping

She is facing second-degree murder charges
Posted at 11:25 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 11:25:56-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Lakeland woman says she slipped while holding her dog and slicing pizza, accidentally stabbing and killing her husband. Now, she's facing second-degree murder charges. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says after a three-month long investigation they believe 38-year-old Rachel Fidanian intentionally killed her husband. 

"The suspect made a lot of excuses, but none of them made sense. Our detectives did a thorough investigation," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "In the end, they determined this was an intentional act of domestic violence."

Fidanian told authorities multiple stories which involved her slipping or falling while holding a knife, and accidentally stabbing her 40-year-old husband Bryant Fidanian. 

In one account she told detectives she was doing dishes when she tried to pick up her dog while holding a knife, then she tripped and stabbed the victim. In another, she said she was slicing a frozen pizza when, again, she tried to pick up her dog while holding a knife, tripping and stabbing the victim. 

While attempting to demonstrate how the stabbing happened, detectives say the suspect was unable to pick the dog up. They say all of her accounts had to do with her dog urinating inside and outside, but detectives found no evidence to support that.

Ultimately, detectives determined none of her accounts were credible. 

The suspect called 911 on June 25 to report the stabbing. When Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the home, no one answered the front door. The crew then entered the home where they say they were approached by the nude suspect. 

Crews transported the victim to Lakeland Regional Hospital where he died of his injuries. An autopsy determined the knife had cut through the victim's second rib bone, on his left side, and cut the pulmonary artery, according to the sheriff's office. 

When asked about her marriage, the suspect told detectives the victim was a great husband and they didn't fight. Detectives say a canvas of the neighborhood didn't back that up. 

They say neighbors told them they heard yelling and screaming coming from the home often. The sheriff's office says they responded to the home on seven previous occasions. One time resulted in the victim's arrest for breaking the suspect's arm. 

During two of those calls, including the one where the victim was arrested, the suspect had been submitted for a Baker Act, according to the sheriff's office. 

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday at her home and taken to the Polk County Jail.