A New Jersey man accused of stabbing his girlfriend and smothering her 5-year-old daughter who allegedly witnessed the murder pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Michael C. Brady, 34, of Teaneck, was arrested on January 30 on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and third-degree hindering apprehension.
Authorities allege that on January 29, Brady and his 40-year-old girlfriend Tam Marie “Tammy” Pitts-Gaddy had an altercation at her Englewood apartment. During the fight, Brady allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death in a first-floor bedroom, John L. Molinelli said in a Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office press release.
The press release added that officials believe the victim’s 5-year-old daughter Natasia witnessed her mother’s stabbing before Brady allegedly smothered the girl to death in the basement by holding a plastic bag over her head.
The following day, Brady went to the crime scene with the victims’ family members after they confronted him as to Pitts-Gaddy and Natasia’s whereabouts. The press release states Brady “acted as if he discovered the bodies when he entered through the window.”
The Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the mother died as a result of multiple stab wounds and her daughter as a result of asphyxia due to smothering with a plastic bag.
Brady, a custodian at the Leonia Middle School in Leonia, New Jersey, is a citizen of Jamaica who has been living in the United States since the age of 10, according to the press release.
The suspect and the victim had been dating for three years at the time of her death. He was not the child’s father, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Brady is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail with bond set at $2 million.
Prosecutor Molinelli said in the press release “that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt…This matter is still under investigation.”
HLN was unable to reach Brady’s attorney for a comment.