Mount Holyoke College professor Rie Hachiyanagi charged with attempted murder after beating co worker whom she secretly loved w/ garden shears & fire poker.
A Massachusetts art professor is alleged to have beaten a fellow faculty member ‘who she loved’ on Christmas Eve with rocks, garden shears and a fire poker, authorities said.
Mount Holyoke College professor Rie Hachiyanagi was charged with attempted murder at her Friday arraignment at Orange District Court and ordered held without bail until a Feb. 4 court hearing.
Investigators say Hachiyanagi, 48, a professor at the college since 2004, called 911 just after midnight on Dec. 24 to report that another Holyoke prof was lying in a pool of blood and barely breathing inside her Leverett, MA home, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.
Upon responding police arriving at the home, they discovered Hachiyanagi dripping in blood- which the teacher said was the result of her, ‘holding her injured co-worker.’
But when cops spoke to the victim, who’d been rushed to a nearby hospital, she told investigators that Hachiyanagi had attacked her.
The professor — who specializes in handmade paper crafts and performance art — allegedly driving to the victim’s house uninvited the night of Dec. 23, claiming she ‘wanted to talk about her feelings,’ according to a police report.
Once inside, Hachiyanagi began attacking the victim, who is over the age of 60, with a myriad of household objects, including rocks, garden clippers and a fire poker, WWLP reported.
The victim told cops that Hachiyanagi told her ‘she loved her for many years and she should have known,’ a police report said.
Hachiyanagi was arrested later in the day at her South Hadley residence and booked with armed assault with attempt to murder, mayhem, and three counts of assault and battery with a weapon.
‘she really missed her and wanted to talk with her about feelings.’
According to court documents, Hachiyanagi initially told police it looked like there had been a struggle inside the residence when she arrived, claiming having found the victim in a pool of her own blood on the floor. When cops searched for signs of an intruder, no other suspects emerged, Western Mass News reported.
When asked what brought her to the home, Hachiyanagi allegedly told police that when the pair met earlier that afternoon at the college, of having made plans to see each other that evening.
In a later interview with police, she claimed she didn’t remember anything after 6 p.m – as a result of having a history with concussions which affected her memory, officials said.
According to police, the victim ‘was adamant that she did not make plans with Ms. Hachiyanagi later in the evening’, but Hachiyanagi allegedly arrived to the house unannounced and according to the victim, she told her she was there because, ‘she really missed her and wanted to talk with her about feelings.’
After letting her in, the victim says she was repeatedly hit in the back of the head by the suspect, with the suspect refusing to stop.
According to the report, police say that ‘despite losing her glasses, and her vision compromised, she saw Ms. Hachiyanagi strike her with multiple implements to include fists, rocks, garden clippers, and what she described was a fire poker.’
The victim reportedly told police she thought she was going to die.
When cops took Hachiyanagi into custody, she was found with several of the victim’s personal items, including keys, glasses, and a cell phone, police said.
A spokesperson for Mount Holyoke College — where tuition plus room and board for 2019-2020 is $67,578 — said Hachiyanagi had been placed on administration leave and banned from the South Hadley campus in an email statement.
‘We take very seriously the safety and well-being of every member of our community, and the College is providing support to impacted parties as appropriate,’ College President Sonya Stephens wrote.
The school’s website described Hachiyanagi as the Chair of the Art Studio department who also teaches classes in Asian Studies.
‘Sometimes she makes statements in class which don’t seem appropriate,’ one student wrote in a review of her class.
Hachiyanagi remains held at the Franklin County House of Correction without bail.