Prosecutors indict Algonquin eye doctor on murder charges
Prosecutors on Thursday announced an indictment against an Algonquin eye doctor who authorities say stabbed his girlfriend to death last month in the woman's Schaumburg home.
Anthony R. Prate, 55, who had optometry offices in Barrington and Lake Zurich, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Malgorzata B. "Margaret" Daniel, 48.
He is being held without bail at Cook County jail.
This month, police released Prate's 911 call during which he told a dispatcher he and Daniel had a fight. Prate said Daniel stabbed him first and he responded by stabbing her with the same knife.
Authorities say Prate stabbed Daniel 20 to 30 times during the early morning hours of Nov. 23 after a dinner party she hosted at her house on Arbor Glen Boulevard the previous night.
Prosecutors say the guests discussed the topic of death, which upset Prate, who left the room for a long period and returned noticeably agitated.
About 1:30 a.m., police say, Prate called 911 indicating Daniel was "gravely wounded." When police officers arrived at the house, they found Prate with a knife in his hand and Daniel lying in the kitchen area, not breathing.
A medical examiner ruled Daniel's death a homicide caused by "sharp force injuries."
Prosecutors say before police arrived, Prate made phone calls to family members in which he admitted he stabbed Daniel "a lot of times." The case sparked the interest of McHenry County authorities, who announced Dec. 9 they are monitoring the Schaumburg investigation to determine if any information from it relates to the death of Prate's late wife, Bridget Prate, who was pronounced dead after a March 2011 car crash in Lake in the Hills.
Authorities say Bridget Prate was a passenger in a car driven by her husband that crossed the centerline of Pyott Road, struck another car, spun and hit a tree and a fence. Arriving on the scene of what was described as a low-impact crash, paramedics found Bridget Prate had no pulse, authorities said. An autopsy listed her cause of death as undetermined.
Bridget Prate's family hired Bruce Johnson, a retired Illinois State Police master sergeant turned private investigator, to look into her death. According to Johnson, Anthony Prate told police he lost control of the car when his wife unbuckled her seat belt to retrieve a bottle of water and her purse from the back seat.
Johnson said a person was unlikely to die from a low-impact crash where doctors did not determine a broken neck or some other fatal injury.
Prate next appears in court Jan. 2 for arraignment on the Schaumburg case.