Accused of murdering her husband, 46-year-old Nancy Fontaine took the witness stand in court Thursday and described a night of abuse that unexpectedly left her a widow.
A prosecutor instead characterized the James Island woman as overly concerned with her appearance and a biology major who knew exactly what she was doing when she stabbed her husband in the heart.
Fontaine, who worked as a consumer safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration before her arrest last year, admitted that she stabbed 58-year-old Bobby Fontaine at his Edisto Island home in March 2010. She described a marriage in which she and Bobby kept their separate residences for work reasons.
On March 27 she drove down to see him, bringing with her a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne. The couple finished both bottles before heading out to two bars, where they drank beer and shots of liquor, Fontaine testified.
She said her husband sodomized her earlier that day but that she wasn't angry with him and even invited him to take a bath with her.
Sitting on a bar stool that night, she began talking with another man. Her husband wanted to leave, but Fontaine said she twice refused.
Bobby grabbed her arm, she testified, and she dropped to the barroom floor in resistance.
Bobby's son drove the couple home, and Nancy remained inside her Jeep Cherokee until her husband yanked her from the car, she said. She testified that he dragged her on the ground, pushed her and kicked her.
Nancy dashed into the house and, in the kitchen, grabbed a 7.5-inch knife and stood in a corner. Her husband then came into kitchen and approached her suddenly, she said. She shoved the knife at him and then watched him grab his chest, she said.
"I was scared, and I didn't want him to hurt me again," she testified.
Shocked to learn that Bobby later died from the wound, Nancy said a detective told her, "That's what happens when you play with knives."
Managing Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Shealy remarked that Nancy Fontaine complained about the long crocheted sweaters chosen for her for court, adding that Fontaine favored plastic surgery, stylish haircuts and expensive clothes. Fontaine's defense attorney questioned the relevance, as his client fought back at the prosecutor, saying, "Excuse me?"
Shealy worked to show that Fontaine was intoxicated the night she killed her husband and waited for him in the kitchen, knife in hand.
Pointing out that Bobby Fontaine asked his wife to call 911, Shealy asked the woman, "Were you hoping he was going to die a little quicker than he did?"