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Stabbing victim’s kids heard her screams, prosecutors say

Kurtis Worley

Kurtis Worley

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Updated: August 31, 2013 6:18AM

After his wife told him she wanted a divorce, Kurtis Worley pleaded unsuccessfully with her to reconsider, then waited until she was asleep before stabbing her repeatedly in the head, DuPage County authorities said.

Martha Worley’s sons heard her screams early Friday and tried to get into the locked bedroom in the family’s Addison home to help.

Kurtis Worley allegedly opened the bedroom door just long enough to stab his 15-year-old stepson in the throat — and give both boys time to see their mother lying motionless on the bed, Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau said.

Later, the 33-year-old Worley slashed his own wrists and his throat, prosecutors said.

He survived, but his 39-year-old wife died at a suburban hospital later that day.

Judge Elizabeth Sexton on Monday set bond for Kurtis Worley at $3 million.

He faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated domestic battery.

Worley’s stepson was hospitalized and required surgery for the stab wound in his neck, but is expected to survive, officials said.

Kurtis Worley told investigators he drank vodka and tequila before the attack because he was upset his wife of 11 years had refused to reconcile with him or have sex, Therieau said during the bond hearing.

Worley watched his wife sleeping for several minutes before abruptly stabbing her as many as 10 times, Therieau said.

She suffered two “significant” head wounds that were so deep they left part of her brain exposed, Therieau said.

Martha Worley’s 12-year-old son, who also had attempted with his brother to get into the bedroom to help his mom, wasn’t injured during the confrontation.

After his brother was stabbed, the younger boy grabbed several kitchen knives and returned to try to get into the bedroom to protect his mother, Therieau said.

Later, the boys called police, who along with paramedics had to break into the room.

The Worleys’ 9-year-old daughter wasn’t home at the time of the slaying, authorities said.

Worley, who works in a wood products warehouse, kept his head lowered and said little during the hearing, which was conducted via a video link from the DuPage County Jail.

After his bond was set, Sexton asked him if he could post the $300,000 needed to secure his release.

“No, I don’t have that,” he said softly.

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