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Daniel Patrick Degoto, 41, has been charged with murder in the death of Raphael Michael Happy-Ikenwilo.
Daniel Patrick Degoto, 41, has been charged with murder in the death of Raphael Michael Happy-Ikenwilo. (Baltimore County Police Department)

A Windsor Mill man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of an unorthodox pastor who he says held "spiritual control" over his wife, Baltimore County police said.

On Saturday, 41-year-old Daniel Patrick Degoto drove his wife to a house in the 7800 block of Liberty Road, where she worships at a church located in the basement, police said. Moments later, 53-year-old Raphael Michael Happy-Ikenwilo, the church's pastor, arrived with his wife and parked behind the building.

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As Happy-Ikenwilo went to retrieve items from the trunk of the car, Degoto rammed his van into Happy-Ikenwilo's vehicle, knocking him to the ground. Degoto then used a "large hunting knife" to stab Happy-Ikenwilo multiple times in the head, neck and leg, according to the documents.

Police found Happy-Ikenwilo around 10 a.m. with "multiple deep lacerations to his head," according to the documents. He was taken to Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead about 4 p.m. Happy-Ikenwilo's wife was not injured during the incident.

Following the attack, Degoto drove to the Howard County Detention Center and surrendered to police.

Happy-Ikeinwilo's family could not be reached for comment. According to his website, he's a self-described African prophet with a special assignment from God to investigate and cure cancer that originates from the fourth dimension. He claims to have met Jesus in 1992, and years later graduated from a university located in the fourth dimension as a "Doctor of Spiritual Sciences."

Degoto told police that his wife had been worshipping at Happy-Ikenwilo's church for about a year, and during that time he began to notice "changes" in her — and believed Happy-Ikenwilo was "spiritually controlling his wife's thoughts and actions," charging documents stated.

When asked if the attack was premeditated, Degoto told police, "Yes, I tried to control it, but I can't control it. It was too much. Today was the end of it. Something had to be done," according to the documents.

Degoto is in custody without bail and did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Sept. 15.

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