GULFPORT -- A woman accused of trying to stab to death her 3-year-old son at Jones Park may have been planning to kill her husband so she could take their child, a prosecutor said.
Nomatter Gava-Hudson apparently planned to do harm Oct. 6 because she had hidden two knives in her vehicle before she went to meet with her estranged husband and child, Harrison County prosecuting attorney Herman Cox said.
The 26-year-old woman faces a charge of attempted murder, punishable by 20 years to life in prison.
Gava-Hudson waived the right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday. Details in the Gulfport police investigation came out after her attorney asked for a bond hearing.
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The lead case investigator testified Gava-Hudson's husband had filed for a domestic violence protection order and had taken their son to meet her in Jones Park, Cox said. The stabbing reportedly occurred after the husband told her he planned to divorce her, Cox said.
The man told police his wife had first put a knife under his chin but he wrestled it away, injuring himself. The man said he later saw her bending over the child and stabbing their son with a butcher knife she had retrieved from her vehicle.
"The detective surmised that the mother wanted to kill her husband so she could take their child," Cox said.
The boy was cut across his abdomen and had cuts near his collar bone and on his hip. His condition has improved, Cox said.
Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner declined to reduce the mother's $1 million bond and sent the case to a Harrison County grand jury.
Gava-Hudson is a Biloxi resident and Zimbabwe native. She and her husband had met after she came to the U.S. on a visa, Cox said.
She is held with no bond for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Police learned of the stabbing after receiving a 911 call from Sgt. Devon Stachowiak, a combat engineer in the Army National Guard. He told the Sun Herald he was in Jones Park when he heard a man shouting for help.
"The boy started walking toward me, stumbling around, and he collapsed," Stachowiak told the Sun Herald. "I thought he was about to die," he said.
Stachowiak said he pressed a blanket against a gash above the boy's belly button and performed "a light, steady sternum rub, and he woke up." He said he called 911 after the child became stable.
Police took Gava-Hudson into custody at the scene. She initially told police she had planned to kill her son and then herself, a court document said.