Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Charlotte, NC: Police investigate murder-suicide

CHARLOTTE — A Sunday morning murder-suicide in Charlotte highlights the importance of domestic violence awareness month.

It is Charlotte's seventh domestic violence related murder in 2010 and North Carolina's 51st. Police said Rebecca Robertson, 31, died at the hands of Barry Leake, 39, who then turned the gun on himself. Robertson's three children, another couple and their three children were at the home on Anna Garrison Road when it happened around 1 a.m..

“Kids were just coming down the street saying 'he shot her, he shot her, in the face'. So we just grabbed the kids cause we didn't know was he still alive, [or] if he was going to come out and shoot anybody else,” said Lethia Thomas, neighbor.

Leake was arrested in February 2009 for possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon. He was scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday. Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were at the home once before regarding a domestic violence call. Officers said Robertson had no visible injuries and declined to file charges.

Experts said domestic violence typically escalates.

“A situation like this just doesn't happen, there's been ongoing abuse for God knows how long,” said Mike Sexton, with Mecklenburg County CSS Women's Commission.

A report released last month listed North Carolina as 4th in the nation for cases of women being murdered by men. The domestic related murder suicide on Anna Garrison Road is North Carolina's 16th.

Robertson is the 7th woman in Charlotte to die at the hands of her partner this year.

“We've had seven here locally in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, that's exactly where we were last time year, and for all of last, year. Charlotte is always in the lead across the state for homicides,” said Sexton.

Police are still investigating this homicide and neighbors and family are trying to help three children understand what happened.

No comments: