A news story for northwest Florida focused on the dangers of divorce, and showed how the situation can quickly become violent.
Couple’s domestic violence history becomes fatal
The situation involved a woman who threatened to shoot her husband if he did not sign divorce papers.
The 45 year old female suspect was first arrested when police responded to a house call about a domestic dispute in Mossy Creek. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office took a statement from the woman’s husband. She had apparently pulled a gun on him and told him to sign divorce filing documents. He did eventually sign the papers during their argument, then locked himself in a bathroom with a gun of his own and then called 911 for help. The woman was arrested for aggravated assault that night.
After the state formally moved forward with charges against her, the suspect was required to surrender all of her firearms and her U.S. passport. Prosecutors eventually dismissed the case and dropped all charges a few months later. The assistant state attorney assigned to the case said that there was a lack of evidence and it would be very difficult for the government to prove the charges against her. He claimed that the case was based almost entirely on conflicting witness statements with no other evidence.
A few weeks after the charges were dropped, the suspect returned to her home and shot and killed her husband. Her attorney claims that she never picked up the firearm she surrendered to the court. Police did not give any specifics about what kind of weapon was used or how many shots were fired. Just a few days before he was murdered, the victim had petitioned the court to voluntarily dismiss his divorce proceedings.
There was some dispute as to whether this killing was justified, as the suspect plans to use Florida’s stand your ground law and claim the actions were in self defense. She claims that there were previous domestic violence issues with her husband, and that she feared for her life.
The formal investigation was still pending and no charges had been filed at the time of the news report.
Divorce cases that also involve domestic disputes
When a marriage begins to have serious problems with arguing and violence, it is important to ensure your safety and get legal help from a Destin divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
If there is any threat or fear of abuse, a lawyer can assist you with getting a protective order from the judge. This will formally put the person named in the order on notice to stay away, otherwise there can be serious consequences. Many couples begin to live apart and only contact each other while law enforcement is present in the timeframe before a divorce is finalized. Separate living arrangements are made for safety reasons.
Destin divorce attorneys are available to help
There are local lawyers who can assist you with any kind of divorce documentation and representation in family court. Talk to a lawyer at ASG Legal for immediate help.