Angelina Fernandes vividly remembers the night that changed her life forever. He was only 11 years old, and woke up to the sound of his mother screaming. “I just hear my mother screaming and crying,” Angelina told “48 Hours.”
He said he looked down the stairs and saw blood everywhere. She remembers seeing a neighbor perform CPR on Andrew Wagner, who was her mother’s fiancé and the man she calls her stepfather.
Angelina recalled her mother, Stephanie Fernandes, seeing her on the stairs and yelling for someone to get her. Police and EMTs arrived on the scene and an officer took Angelina to a relative’s home. Angelina was worried about her mother.
“I just wanted to make sure my mom was OK because I didn’t know where she went. She was just taken,” Angelina told “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant in an interview for “What Angelina Says” on Saturday. March 11 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
Angelina never went back inside that house, but she told Van Sant she can still see the scene that night. “It’s like the picture,” he said.
Angelina later learned that her mother was taken to the Worcester Police Department, where she was interviewed for about three hours. At the end of the interview, Stephanie Fernandes was told by a detective that Wagner was dead. The autopsy revealed that he was bled to death after a stab wound to the throat. Fernandez told detectives who interviewed her that she and Andrew argued that night and that he physically assaulted her. Fernandes was arrested and later charged with murder.
Angelina was just 6 years old when her mother met Wagner in 2009. He said Their relationship progressed quickly, and shortly after meeting, they were living together as a family.
Angelina said Wagner was friendly. They vacationed at her family’s home on Cape Cod in the summer, and she said they watched “Criminal Minds” together.
But her relationship with her mother had a dark side, Angelina recalled. She remembers talking to her mother, “I know what’s going on between you two, and I don’t like it. You have to stop. This can’t happen anymore.”
But Stephanie’s relationship with Andrew continued for five years until it ended abruptly that night, May 7, 2014.
Stephanie Fernandez told Van Sant that after she had dinner and put Angelina to bed, she and Wagner started arguing about what she was doing while she was working that week. She said Wagner pinned her to a couch and tried to choke her. He said he grabbed a knife from the kitchen to protect himself, told Andrew to stay away but when he made a headbutt motion at him, Fernandes said the knife “definitely hit him in the throat.”
In June 2022, he went on trial for the murder of Andrew Wagner. Fernandez’s trial was delayed by procedural arguments and the Covid pandemic. At the time, Angelina was in school and living with family in Canada. On the stand, Fernandez testified that he acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors suggested that Fernandez was the aggressor in the relationship and that what happened that night was a premeditated murder. After 10 days of witness testimony, Fernandez was acquitted of the murder charge but convicted of the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison.
Van Sant spoke with Angelina on the day her mother was to be released from the prison her mother was sentenced to. “Well, at first, I was thinking, ‘Wow, I’m going to be close to 30.’ I mean, she already misses so much of my life,” says Angelina.
Today, Angelina is a college student studying to become a forensic psychologist. He remains positive about his future. “I want to fulfill all my dreams so that my mother can feel happiness later,” he said.