SLIDELL, La. – A Northshore man is trying to pick up the pieces of his family after his girlfriend, the mother of their two children, was murdered by his mother, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
Richard Hartman said his mother –- Joan Hartman -- and girlfriend -– Tanya Knower -- were arguing inside of their home they shared on Brookter Road before his mother stabbed his girlfriend.
“She turned around to go to the kitchen and mom pulled out a steak knife, stabbed her in the back,” said Hartman. “When Tanya fell to the ground, I shoved my mom away, checked her neck, grabbed for my phone to call 911, and mom ran around me again and stabbed her in the abdomen. And then Tanya just looked at me, took a big gasp of air and that was it, she was gone.
“She took the most important thing in my life and my kids’ life away.”
Authorities said they found Hartman screaming over Knowers’ body, saying “I hope you die.”
Sheriff Jack Strain said Joan Hartman admitted she recently bought the knife, expecting an altercation with Knower.
“It was a combination of years, if not a lot of years, 11 years of violence and anger between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Unfortunately, no one reached out for help,” said Strain.
Richard Hartman now says he is left with pictures and drawings that Knower crafted for her girls, who are 6 and 9 years old.
He said he can’t forgive his mother.
“She hurt my kids and she hurt me,” he said. “I can get over myself, but hurting my kids I can’t forgive.”
Hartman is in the St. Tammany Parish jail. If convicted she would face a mandatory life sentence.