An Israeli man was indicted on Thursday for stabbing his partner to death in early May and the waiting almost two days before calling the police, as Israel sees an uptick in fatal cases of domestic violence, particularly since the start on the coronavirus crisis.
Prosecutors asked the court to order Bat Yam resident Igor Chepikov to be held until the end of the legal proceedings against him, saying he dismembered Tatiana Khaikin's body, decapitated her and threw some of the parts of her body into the garbage.
After he called the police and said he had killed his partner, the police arrived at the apartment and found her body with a knife stuck in it. Chepikov told a police officer that he had killed Khaikin – but said he didn’t remember exactly when and why he did it, said prosecutors.
During questioning later, Chepikov denied he murdered Khaikin, and claimed he saw her body when he woke up. He said he then went to buy a bottle of vodka, asked a friend he met in the store what to do with the body and at his friend’s suggestion decided to dismember it. Prosecutors say the evidence contradicts Chepikov’s claims about the meeting with his friend.
Chepikov spoke with his mother a short time before he called the police – and said incriminating things, states the request to detain him. It seems it called the police because of his mother’s advice.
Prosecutors said that Chepikov’s actions demonstrated how dangerous he was, in their request to hold him until the end of the legal proceedings.
Attorney Yael Finkelman from the Public Defender’s Office, who represents Chepikov, said he denies the charges and says he does not remember what happened – and they only received the indictment and other investigative materials that they did not know about on Thursday.
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Chepikov had been convicted previously of assaulting Khaikin and sentenced to six months in prison. A friend of hers said that after he was released “she found him and returned to him. We told her not to go back to him. They started drinking every day. He would beat her a lot, they weren’t human any more,” said the friend. Chepikov had been convicted in the past of assaulting another woman and sentenced to six months of public service.
No one claimed Khaikin’s body from the morgue at the from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.
Her body was flown to Ukraine on Sunday so she could be buried in her hometown of Lviv where her mother and sister live, after friends raised the money for the flight. Before Khaikin’s coffin was put on the plane, her acquaintances held a modest ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport’s cargo terminal. The women held signs saying “You aren’t alone.”