Emeruwa was found guilty of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree assault following a six-day trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
His wife, Chidiebere O. Ochulo, 36, with whom Emeruwa was living in Nigeria before both relocated to the US, was found dead in her home in the 4200 block of Dunwood Terrace by her brother-in-law at about 2:30 a.m. on New Year Day 2007. County police and fire and rescue workers reported that Chidiebere had multiple stab wounds in her upper chest and back.
Chidiebere, who was separated from Emeruwa at the time of her death, had previously filed one assault charge and multiple protective orders against her husband, according to charging documents.
Emeruwa picked her up from the airport on Dec. 31, 2006, upon her return from a three-week trip to Nigeria where she went to bury her dad and drove her back to her home, where Emeruwa’s mother had been watching the couple’s children — two boys (Jachi,8; Elijah, 4 and a girl, Anthoinette 6).
Both apparently had a quarrel over the car that Emeruwa drove which belonged to Chidiebere. Other members of Emeruwa’s family arrived at Ochulo’s house at 10:30 p.m. that evening, but Emeruwa refused to allow them in the house, saying he was taking the children out and that Chidiebere was sleeping.
Family members noticed the children were upset and later called the police. Officers came to the house about 11:30 p.m. but left when no one answered the door. Family members returned to Chidiebere’s home hours later, when her body was discovered.
Officers captured Emeruwa after an all-day search on January 1, 2007, culminating in a police chase that ended when Emeruwa rammed several police cruisers, according to police sources. His three children were with him in the car, and all four suffered minor injuries when police started to frantically search for them after the murder.
Chidiebere was born on June 1, 1970 and attended schools in Umuahia and Yola before proceeding to University of Nigeria Nsukka where she bagged a degree in Microbiology. She got married to Kelechi in 1996 and left for the US same year, having won the American Visa lottery.
In an effort to really settle down in the US and get a respectable job, she took a second degree in Nursing and began a carrer at Washington Hospital Centre. As a result of her hard work, she got to the peak of the administrative cadre as a Deputy Director, Clinical Services, at the Centre.
Chidiebere was said to have done everything to save her marriage but it was as if it was doomed for failure. She was fully responsible for the payment of her children’s school fees. When the issue of her troubled marriage came up in her last encounter with her mother when she came home for her father’s burial, she was said to have told her mum: “But Mama, I love KC.”