Baltimore resident Daniel Patrick Degoto has been charged with first-degree murder after stabbing pastor Raphael Michael Happy-Ikenwilo to death, according to The Baltimore Sun. Degoto believed that Happy-Ikenwilo had "spiritual control" over his wife.
He had driven his wife to their place of worship, where he rammed his car into Happy-Ikenwilo's vehicle before attacking him with a large hunting knife, The Baltimore sun reports. Degoto stabbed the pastor in the head, neck, and legs. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly thereafter.
Degoto drove to the police after the attack and confessed.
According to Happy-Ikenwilo's website, the pastor believed he was an African prophet charged by God to investigate and cure cancer with methods from the fourth dimension. He claimed to have met Jesus in 1992 and said he graduated from a university located in the fourth dimension as a “Doctor of Spiritual Sciences.” In 2012, Ikenwilo said that he was being hunted by witch doctors.
Degoto's wife began worshipping with Happy Ikenwilo about a year ago, with Degoto slowly noting changes in her personality. Degoto says he killed the pastor because he was “spiritually controlling [Degoto's] wife’s thoughts and actions,” charging documents stated.
“Yes, I tried to control it, but I can’t control it. It was too much. Today was the end of it. Something had to be done,” Degoto said when asked if the attack was planned, according to the documents.
"That's a terrible and horrible thing," said Frank House, another pastor who lives near the crime scene. "It's just a sad time we're living in right now. The value of life is just not seeming important. We have to see and realize all lives are important."
Degoto is currently being held in police custody without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September.