A California man is facing numerous charges after allegedly stabbing his pregnant wife and then fleeing the scene with their infant daughter, getting into a car accident, and throwing the child off a cliff to her death.
Adam Slater, a 49-year-old Palm Desert resident, was arrested Thursday and is facing charges of second-degree murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon, online jail records show.
Slater is alleged to have assaulted a woman on Wednesday morning, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office said in a press release issued earlier this week. Deputies with the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station responded to a parking lot in the Indian Wells area at around 8:30 a.m. after receiving a call about a stabbing. Upon their arrival, they located the female victim, who was transported to a local hospital and is now reported to be in stable condition.
Slater is alleged to have then fled the scene with a child in the car, but got into a collision shortly afterward, flipping the vehicle in the process, authorities said. Bystanders tried to come to their aid, but Slater is alleged to have gotten out of the car and stabbed an unidentified man who had been trying to help remove the child safely from the vehicle, the release states.
Slater is then accused of grabbing the child and throwing her "over a steep cliff into a ravine" in full view of witnesses before fleeing the scene again and running into the canyon, authorities said.
When deputies arrived, witnesses told them where Slater had been seen running, and they were able to apprehend him after a short chase, according to the sheriff's office. The child, who is the 1-year-old daughter of the woman Slater allegedly assaulted, was found dead.
The release did not state the victim's name, but family members of the victim have identified her as 23-year-old Ashley Grome, who was six months pregnant when she was attacked, local outlet KESQ reports. The baby's name was Madalyn.
Slater was taken to a nearby hospital to treat his injuries and was booked after being released from the hospital, authorities said.
Chris Grome, Ashley's uncle, told KESQ that Slater had threatened to hurt the mother and child before. He also claimed when Slater attacked Ashley, he attempted to stab her in the stomach and throat, but she "fought him off and tried to protect herself," her uncle said,
Grome's family is mourning the loss of Madalyn, who was "a little joy to have," Chris added.
"Right now, it’s painful ... Painful," he told the station. "Everybody’s hurting pretty bad."
Slater's bail has been set at $1 million, according to online jail records. He remained in custody as of Friday afternoon, and he is slated to appear in court on Monday morning.
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