The attack on a six-month pregnant woman that killed her unborn baby was so severe that witnesses inside the Dorchester nail salon where it happened pleaded with the attacker to stop.

“She was dragged across the floor,” said Leora Joseph, an assistant district attorney. “Witnesses said the victim had no chance.”

Yesterday, the victim, Tori Catron, 26, and her alleged attacker, Ayanna Woodhouse, 25, were feet away from each other as Woodhouse pleaded not guilty at her Suffolk Superior Court arraignment.


Woodhouse’s cousin was the father of Catron’s baby, which would have been her second. She has a 5-year-old son, her father, Ronald Catron said.

As prosecutors detailed the April attack, a relative of Woodhouse walked out of the courtroom, saying, “I can’t take this crap.”

A Grand Jury indicted Woodhouse on Friday, and prosecutors said medical experts testified that the baby would have been able to live had it not died from placental abruption caused by trauma.

Arguing for a low bail amount, Woodhouse’s attorney, John Hayes, said his client is a visiting nurse in Somerville, has a bachelor’s degree, no criminal record and a 3-year-old son.

Just before the arraignment started, extra court officers arrived at the courtroom.

When asked what the fight was about, Woodhouse’s relatives only said that it was about items on Facebook and they wanted to see the website taken down. Prosecutors said “chatting” at the nail salon “slowly escalated.”

Latest From ...