He’d done it. Hacked his wife to death with an axe. There was no doubt Cristian Loga-Negru had carried out the brutal slaying. But he said he wasn’t guilty because he was insane. Now he was going to prove it.

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Cristian Loga-Negru’s problems had started when he was a kid.

He was born in Romania in the 1970s, an only child. His parents both worked long hours. Mum was a teacher, Dad a civil servant.

From the age of 4, Cristian was left at home. Alone.

‘There were situations in which I was very afraid,’ he told the judge in the Wisconsin courtroom. ‘People were ringing the bell and I didn’t know if they were someone I could trust…’

And he was lonely.

‘There was always isolation in those years,’ Cristian said, claiming he’d even been left alone at night.

The family moved around a lot – and, at school, things weren’t much better for Cristian.

And as he grew up, his mum became possessive. She wouldn’t let him socialise.

‘She interfered with every relationship I had,’ he said.

But was any of that enough to justify killing his wife?

Cristian had moved to America as a young man. He worked hard, studied Law, became an investor.

His wife Roxana Abrudan, 36, was also born in Romania. Like Cristian, she’d made a successful life for herself in America, as an office manager for a mortgage broker.

Her colleagues adored her – and the homemade food she brought into the office.

Roxana

She was also doing a degree in Interior Design.

Roxana married Cristian on 11 July 2014.

It was just a few days later that he punched her.

Roxana’s colleagues saw the bruises, told her to go to the police. But she refused – for another three months.

By then, Cristian had hit her again. But her bruises had healed. There was no evidence, so the police couldn’t help.

Maybe Roxana felt she had nowhere else to go… Or believed Cristian when he said he’d have her deported… Either way, she went back to him.

Maybe Cristian was jealous, possessive or worried that his wife would go to the police again. Because he started tracking her every move.

He’d text and call her at work constantly. He’d ask her office cleaners if they’d let him in after hours, so he could look at her desk.

Soon, Roxana couldn’t take any more. She returned to the police. This time, she got a restraining order.

With the help of her boss, she escaped. She moved into her boss’ spare room while she got her life together.

The police visited Cristian to hand him the restraining order.

‘She should have more respect for her husband,’ he raged at them.

But if Roxana thought she was finally safe, she was wrong. Cristian was following her. Watching her.

A month later, at 8.30pm on 19 November 2014, as Roxana was walking up the driveway to her boss’ house, Cristian ran up behind her.

He struck her repeatedly with an axe.

Then he dragged her kicking and screaming into the silver people carrier he’d rented especially and drove off.

Neighbours had heard the commotion and called police.

When officers arrived, they found the small axe Cristian had used. Dropped on the driveway, covered in blood and Roxana’s long, dark hair.

Nearby, they found two female fingers.

An hour later, police caught up with Cristian.

He’d parked the car by a motel outside town. He was standing beside it, his clothes drenched in blood, a deep gash running through his kneecap.

‘Shoot me!’ he cried. ‘Shoot me!’

Cristian Loga-Negru was taken into custody.

Then, in the back of the car, officers found Roxana.

Barely alive, she was lying face up across the back passenger seat.

Her head had been split open by the blade of Loga-Negru’s axe. Her right hand was slashed down the middle where she’d tried to defend herself.

Two fingers were missing.

She was rushed to hospital, but her injuries were too great. She died later that evening.

All because of Cristian Loga-Negru.

But Loga-Negru knew the law. He was aware that if the court found him insane, he’d serve his sentence in a hospital, rather than in prison.

So, while in police custody, and before he’d been interviewed by police psychologists, he’d asked guards for information – books and documents about post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder.

In court, his father testified in his defence. He’d been visiting from Romania at the time of the attack.

He said his son had been acting weirdly. He’d picked a fight with a shop assistant, claimed he’d been seeing Roxana in places she wasn’t… All possible signs of a personality disorder.

But the judge rejected Loga-Negru’s insanity claims.

He was an intelligent man. He’d knowingly violated the restraining order when he’d tracked Roxana to her boss’ home.

He’d hired a car so he could watch Roxana without her seeing he was there.

He’d used the Internet to find her boss’ address, even bought some binoculars.

Cristian Loga-Negru had known what he was doing.

So, on 5 October last year, the judge sentenced him to life in prison for first-degree intentional homicide. He’ll be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Loga-Negru was of sound mind. A jealous, angry mind.