A Greek pilot who admitted to killing his wife after initially blaming her death on a fictitious gang of burglars now claims he acted “in a fit of rage” over his wife’s “mistreatment” of their baby daughter, according to his attorney.
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 32, will use his new defense in court Friday to fight charges of premeditated murder in the May killing of his 20-year-old wife, Caroline Crouch, at their home in Athens, attorney Alexis Papaioannidis told the Times of London.
“The court will be presented with a lot of facts and evidence proving Babis’ allegations — that he acted in a fit of rage,” the pilot’s lawyer said.
Anagnostopoulos has been in custody since June, when he confessed to the killing hours after hugging his wife’s grieving mother at a memorial.
The case had initially sparked a massive manhunt after the pilot claimed he was tied up by a robbery gang who tortured and killed his wife in front of their 11-month-old baby girl, Lydia.
Now — six months after the confession — he is blaming his wife’s “mistreatment” of their child for the first time, the UK Times noted.
His attorney told the UK paper that the deadly confrontation was not the first time the couple had a “heated exchange” over the young mom’s parenting.
“But it was that night when Caroline turned ever more abusive, violently pushing the crib to the side, that set off Babis,” Papaioannidis insisted of the accused murderer’s planned defense.
“He thought, ‘Lydia is in danger,’” he insisted.
The lawyer claimed that encrypted entries in Crouch’s diary showed that she posed a “threat to the baby,” without elaborating.
Excerpts from her diary, however, previously revealed that she was thinking of leaving her husband, accusing him of abuse.
Anagnostopoulos faces life in prison for the killing that was so shocking, it left cops in tears, officers said at the time.
At least 14 witnesses will take the stand, including the two officers who found Anagnostopoulos taped up and his baby daughter desperately trying to wake her dead mom, the report said.
Anagnostopoulos also faces criminal charges under Greece’s strict animal protection laws for strangling their puppy, who was left hanging from railings outside their house, the UK Times noted.
The dead dog even has its own lawyer in the case, Evangelia Tsanopoulou, who described the case as harrowing, the report stated.