From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE –On Friday, 42-year-old Melinda Searight was found dead inside an apartment at Colonial Village at Trussville on Meadows Drive in Irondale.
Searight had been beaten and shot in her apartment which is tucked into an area between The Pinnacle and Lowe’s.
Her boyfriend, 36-year-old Anthony Lanier Kelly, was arrested and charged with murder by the Irondale police.
Authorities said the victim’s three children were home at the time of their mother’s death.
Three mothers from the local area are dead in less than three months and seven children survive to go on without them.
Searight’s murder was the third incident of domestic violence homicide in the local area in the last three months.
The incidents took place in Trussville, Clay and Irondale, three cities known for extremely low violent crime rates.
In February, Brittaney Owens, 25, of Trussville, and Troy Green, 29, were both dead following an overnight murder-suicide.
Trussville police captain Jeff Bridges said Green, an estranged boyfriend of Owens, had blocked the road with his vehicle and waited for her to return to the North Lake Drive home she shared with her parents. When Owens pulled up in her vehicle, Green shot her twice in the chest before returning to his vehicle and turning the gun on himself.
Bridges said there was a history of problems with the couple, who had a 3-year-old child together, stating that Green had been charged with domestic violence against Owens in 2014. Green had also threatened Owens several times in the past.
According to Bridges, domestic violence charges against Owens were working through the judicial system at the time of the murder.
Earlier in April, Jody Marie Watson, 38, was allegedly shot and killed by her boyfriend, Jeremy Conway Hardin of 6364 Yellowhammer Drive in Clay. Watson was the mother of three children.
According to the JCSO, Hardin shot Watson in the back while she was in the litchen.
Two of Watson’s small children witnessed the shooting of their mother, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who said there was a history of domestic calls to the residence.
Hardin told detectives that there had been a history of arguing and fighting between him and the victim and he just wanted it to stop.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.
Many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows, according to the organization’s website.
Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.
The website provided the following list of issues that people should be aware of:
- Telling you that you can never do anything right
- Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
- Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
- Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
- Controlling every penny spent in the household
- Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
- Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
- Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Preventing you from making your own decisions
- Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
- Preventing you from working or attending school
- Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
- Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, the NDVH advised, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call or chat online with an advocate to talk about what’s going on.