Thursday, January 3, 2013

Orange Park, FL: Clay couple in murder-suicide were nearing break-up

A Clay County couple on the verge of breaking up died in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday night inside their Oakleaf Plantation condominium, authorities said.

The bodies of Zachary Robert Johns and Kayla Marie Beynon, both 23, were discovered about 6:45 p.m. by Johns’ sister, who also lived in the condo at the Cottages at Oakleaf, 3750 Silver Bluff Road, said Mary Justino, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Beynon had been shot at least twice in the torso. Johns had a single gunshot wound to the head. A .40-caliber handgun was used in the shootings. It belonged to Johns and was found near his body, Justino said.

A man at the Beynon family home who identified himself as her father said they had no comment Thursday. Johns’ family couldn’t be reached.

The shootings apparently resulted from an altercation. Family members told detectives that the couple had been arguing a lot lately and seemed to be about to break up, Justino said.

Deputies had responded to the home, near Orange Park, once before. A month ago at Beynon’s request, a deputy went there to keep the peace while she removed personal belongings from the condo. Family members said Beynon continued living there with Johns after that call for service, Justino said.

The couple was alone in the home when the shootings occurred. Although not married, Johns and Beynon had one child together, a 6-month old son. Beynon also had a 2-year-old son. Both children remain in the care of Beynon’s mother, Justino said.

The bodies were found in a common area on the ground floor of the two-story condo.

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