Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crestview, FL: Husband charged in Crestview homicide

CRESTVIEW — A 32-year-old man with an extensive history of domestic violence has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 28-year-old wife.

Officers with the Crestview Police Department discovered the body of Alissa Couch on Sunday afternoon after they had spoken with her and her husband, Jerome Couch-Parrish, earlier that day. The Crestview man has had multiple domestic violence injunctions and was under a no contact order at the time of his wife’s death.

He had been arrested as recently as April 6 for domestic violence battery against Couch. His court record includes several charges of domestic violence and other violent crimes. He is currently booked in the Okaloosa County Jail without bail.

Carly Lima, who lives across the street from Alissa Couch, said the two had met only once.

“She came to our house about a month ago around 2:30 in the morning barefoot and screaming. It was a domestic disturbance that time, too,” Lima said.

“It’s strange that one day she’s here and now she’s gone. It’s sad, and what’s worse is this kind of abuse happens more than we know.”

Michelle Sperzel, executive director of Shelter House, said that her organization has worked with 787 women who have experienced domestic violence in Okaloosa and Walton counties since July 2011.

“Domestic violence happens every day,” Sperzel said. “Domestic violence touches an entire community. It touches her kids’ life, the community of Crestview and this whole county.”

On Monday, officers released additional details into Couch’s death. She and her husband had been involved in an argument when officers were called to the home at 308 1st Ave. E. at 7:20 a.m., according to the probable cause affidavit.

When officers left Couch on Sunday morning, she was “alive and well,” the document states.

A second call was placed to officers just before 11 a.m. by Couch-Parrish. He said he and his wife had been in an argument when she pulled a knife on him, and he cut his right pinky finger when he tried to grab it from her. He said they stopped arguing after the injury and he left her home.

He then told officers that Couch had told him she was going out of town and that he did not wish to pursue charges against her. Officers attempted to contact Couch but were unsuccessful.

Almost an hour later, Couch-Parrish requested officers contact him and asked if anyone had heard from his wife. He then asked the officers if they had checked local hospitals to see if she was a patient and said that law enforcement should “put him in handcuffs because something bad had happened,” according to the affidavit.

Officers took Couch-Parrish back to 1st Avenue where they found his wife’s mother, Linda Brown, who said she was worried about her daughter when she couldn’t get in touch with her. Brown then agreed to go to her home to get her spare key to the home.

Shortly after Brown left, Couch-Parrish said, “She found her dead, didn’t she?”

At that time, Couch’s body had not been discovered.

Couch-Parrish then went on to say he knew Couch’s mother and brother and was nervous to stay at the house. When officers assured Couch-Parrish that while in custody he was safe, he stated, “You can’t stop a bullet.”

When Brown arrived, officers discovered there was blood throughout the home from the hallway to the bathroom and in multiple rooms.

The mother of three was found dead in her bedroom hidden under a comforter. According to the affidavit, she had multiple defensive knife wounds on her hands and four bloody knives were found in the home.

She had cuts on her face, neck, arms, back and chest.

Officers believe Couch-Parrish cut and stabbed his wife until she died from the wounds. According to the affidavit, he then covered her body with the bedspread before locking up and leaving the home.

Couch-Parrish was arrested around 7 p.m. Sunday. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 5.

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