MALDEN – A man who served more than a decade in prison for shooting his former wife in the head in 1996 was charged Friday with killing his latest live-in girlfriend, by strangling her, authorities said Friday.
William Bryant Moseley was upfront with authorities and cooperative when he called 911 just after 5 a.m. to tell them what he had done, officials said.
“I need the police at my house. . . . I’ll be out front,” he allegedly said, adding that it was about his wife.
“What’s the matter with your wife?” the dispatcher asked.
“I killed her, she’s dead.”
And when police officers arrived at his Francis Street home, he allegedly told them, “I strangled her.”
Inside the home, authorities found the body of Cecilia Yakubu, Moseley’s 58-year-old girlfriend. Authorities said they were not married. She was lying face-down on the floor, and blood was streaming from her mouth. Some type of cloth was tied around her neck, according to court records.
Moseley, 45, remained calm and soft-spoken with authorities. He was arrested and arraigned later in the morning at Malden District Court, charged with murder. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and he is due to return to court Sept. 6. He said nothing during his brief court appearance.
Yakubu had said previously that Moseley hit her. In August, 2011, she told authorities he punched her in the eye after she blamed his alcohol abuse for a fight he had with a friend. However, she asked the courts to drop the charge in January. Moseley was never convicted.
Their neighbors have told authorities that they have heard disputes between the two before, but that they did not know what occurred early Friday. Another neighbor said that he did not know the couple by name and that they kept to themselves.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. called the death of Yakubu, who has children from a previous marriage, a tragic case of domestic violence. He also said the death was by strangulation, which victims advocates have called an underlying indicator of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. They have called for tougher punishment for any type of domestic violence by strangulation.
“This appears to be another tragic domestic violence homicide, where we allege the defendant strangled the victim to death,” Leone said. “Strangulation is an extremely personalized, violent, and horrific act of power and control often exhibited by abusers of domestic violence. We will continue to work with our community partners to raise awareness around the issue of strangulation, as we know that strangulation is a high-risk indicator for lethality.”
Respond Inc., a Malden-based agency serving domestic violence victims, said that Friday’s case was the 19th domestic violence-related death in the state this year and that it “illustrates no one is immune from the public health epidemic of domestic violence.”
“Until we all accept that domestic violence is a significant public health issue and societal problem that requires the funding and support of life-saving services, victims will continue to be at risk,” said Jessica Brayden, the agency’s executive director.
Moseley had been sent to prison in 1996 for the shooting of his wife at the time in another domestic violence episode, according to published reports of the case.
They had argued after spending a night at a downtown Worcester bar, and he shot her with a .38 pistol, striking her in the lip. The woman recovered from the attack and testified against Moseley. She said the episode was similar to one a month earlier in which he forced the gun down her throat.
He was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in state prison. She later divorced him.