What happened when a young girl woke up and found her home was a crime scene
Angelina Fernandes vividly remembers the night that changed her life forever. She was just 11 years old, and woke up to the sound of her screaming mom. "I just hear my mom screaming and crying," Angelina told "48 Hours."
She said she looked down the stairs and saw blood everywhere. She remembers seeing a neighbor performing CPR on Andrew Wagner, who was her mom's fiancé and the man she called her stepdad.
Angelina recalls her mom, Stephanie Fernandes, spotted her on the stairs and yelled for someone to get her. Police and EMTs arrived on the scene and an officer took Angelina to a relative's house. Angelina was concerned about her mom.
"I just remember wanting to make sure my mom was OK because I didn't know where she went. She was just taken," Angelina told "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant in an interview for "What Angelina Saw," airing Saturday, March 11 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
Angelina never went back inside that house, but she told Van Sant she can still see the scene from that night. "It's like pictures," she said.
Angelina later learned her mom was taken to the Worcester Police Department, where she was interviewed for almost three hours. By the end of the interview, Stephanie Fernandes was told by a detective that Wagner was dead. An autopsy revealed he had bled to death after being stabbed in the neck. Fernandes told the detectives who interviewed her that she and Andrew got into an argument that night and that he had physically assaulted her. Fernandes was arrested and later charged with murder.
Angelina was just 6 years old when her mom met Wagner in 2009. She said their relationship progressed quickly, and, not long after meeting, they were living together as a family.
Angelina said Wagner was friendly. In the summer they vacationed at his family's house in Cape Cod, and she said they used to watch "Criminal Minds" together.
But there was a dark side to his relationship with her mom, Angelina recalled. She remembers having a talk with her mom saying, "I know what's going on between you two, and I don't like it. You guys need to stop. It can't happen anymore."
But Stephanie's relationship with Andrew continued for five years until it ended abruptly on that night, May 7, 2014.
Stephanie Fernandes told Van Sant that after she made dinner and put Angelina to bed, she and Wagner got into an argument about what she'd been doing that week while he was away at work. She said Wagner pinned her against a couch and tried to choke her. She said she grabbed a knife from the kitchen to defend herself, telling Andrew to stay away but when he came at her with a headbutt motion, Fernandes said the knife "must have nicked his neck."
In June 2022, she went on trial for the murder of Andrew Wagner. Fernandes' trial had been delayed by procedural arguments and the COVID pandemic. During that time, Angelina was in school and living with family in Canada. On the stand, Fernandes testified that she acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors suggested that Fernandes was the aggressor in the relationship and what happened that night was premeditated murder. After 10 days of witness testimony, Fernandes was acquitted of the murder charge but found guilty of the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison.
Van Sant spoke with Angelina after her mom was sentenced about the day her mother would be released from prison. "Well, at first, I was thinking, 'Wow, I'm gonna be close to 30 years old.' I mean, she's missed so much of my life already," said Angelina.
Today, Angelina is a college student studying to become a forensic psychologist. She remains positive about her future. "I want to accomplish all of my dreams so my mom can experience the happiness afterwards," she said.
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