ROCKLAND — Richard Langley stood on his porch Wednesday night and lit a cigarette as his wife lay on their front lawn bleeding to death, according to court documents. Frantic neighbors used a towel to stanch the blood pouring from the wounds in her chest, prosecutors say, and asked her who had done it.
“I did it. . . . I stabbed her,” Langley allegedly announced from the porch. “I hope the [expletive] dies.”
When police arrived minutes later, Langley was still smoking, his wife’s blood on his hands and dripping from his arm. An officer handcuffed him and walked him toward a police car. As he passed his dying wife, neighbors saw him try to kick her, prosecutors say.
“Die, [expletive], die,” he said.
On Thursday, Langley, 56, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in Hingham District Court and was ordered held without bail. Relatives of his wife, Patricia, 52, wept and held each other as a prosecutor described the killing. Richard Langley, stood silently and stared at the ground.
“I think it’s one of the most vicious cases I’ve seen in quite a while,” Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said after the arraignment. “The facts are incredibly disturbing, that somebody could actually say something like that to somebody they’re married to, after a vicious altercation.”
About 10 people who identified themselves as relatives of Patricia Langley asked for privacy as they left the courtroom.
According to court documents, neighbors on Moncrief Road heard screaming at about 7:30 and saw Patricia Langley walking out of her home drenched in blood, clutching her chest, and calling for help. A couple from across the street ran out of their home and met her as she collapsed, called 911, and began pressing a towel to her chest to try to stop the bleeding.
“He stabbed me,” Patricia Langley told them, according to the documents. She said she could not breathe. “He killed me,” she repeated again and again, according to the documents.
The husband told police that as he worked on Patricia, he realized Richard Langley was on the porch lighting a cigarette and then sat down to smoke.
“Is she dead yet?” Richard Langley asked the husband, according to documents.
Langley said in a “proud and somewhat happy fashion” that he had stabbed his wife, according to the documents. When police arrived, Langley allegedly announced again that he had stabbed his wife.
Patricia Langley was rushed to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, where she was pronounced dead.
Langley allegedly first told police that he could not remember what had happened, but then said he had become enraged after finding text messages with “sexual content” on her cellphone, according to the documents. He said he asked her how her boyfriend was and when she told him it was “none of his business,” he “flew off the handle.”
Langley said his wife came at him with a knife and that he kicked her in the stomach, took the knife, and stabbed her three times, the documents say.
Police found a trail of blood that began in the living room and ended on the lawn, according to the documents.
On Thursday afternoon, a crew dressed in blue plastic suits and face masks cleaned the inside of the home and removed what appeared to be a couch wrapped in black plastic. Workers scrubbed at the porch and driveway, and a black tent covered a patch of lawn.
At the foot of a nearby tree, someone had left a vase of flowers with a heart-shaped card that read “Tricia xo.”
Neighbors described the couple as friendly and said they had never heard fights before.
“He must have snapped or something; we don’t know,” said Tom Furlong, 77, who has lived in the neighborhood with his wife for 47 years and said he watched both Patricia and Richard Langley grow up. They had been married for about 20 years, he said.
Patricia worked as an aide for special education students at Jefferson Elementary School, a job Furlong said she excelled at.
“[Patricia] was always fun; she was always joking,” said Furlong. “They loved her down at the school. She always had a smile.”
In a statement, Rockland School Superintendent John Retchless said her death had shocked students and staff in the South Shore community.
“The whole school community is deeply saddened by the death of Patricia Langley,’’ he said in a statement. “She was a wonderful person and a valued employee. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.’’
According to the court documents, two daughters lived at home but were not in the house at the time of the attack. Neighbors said they were adults.
Furlong said that whenever he saw the Langleys, they talked about their children. They were happy people, he said. Patricia, he said, had a tiny dog she loved to take for walks and post about on Facebook, he said.
“It’s just a shock to everyone,” said Furlong. “Everyone thought they were getting along good.”
Globe correspondent Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report. Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@
globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen. John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.