Recently, we highlighted detailed research about serial killers. Although killings by strangers make headlines, the most common types of killings are domestic crimes.
In other words, a domestic dispute escalates and results in a crime of violence.
Police say that’s what happened in Dallas earlier this year. A report in the Star-Telegram said a woman deliberately ran down a man with her car after a domestic dispute.
Lakinta Cosby, a 39-old from Dallas, was booked into the Dallas County jail on a murder charge. Bail was set at $100,000.
Police were called to the incident on Martin Luther King Boulevard in January. Investigators say Cosby confessed to running over 36-year-old Sherron Berry. He was pronounced dead later at a local hospital.
Video surveillance footage released by police showed a man running from an SUV that made a U-turn on a Dallas street. The vehicle mounted a sidewalk. At that point the view was blocked by a building.
The arrest warrant affidavit said Cosby drove up and down the street a number of times until she spotted Berry. A report in the The Dallas Morning News stated Cosby dragged Berry beneath her car for a block or so. The information was based on the affidavit.
Police reported a tip led detectives to the suspect vehicle at a residence. Cosby arrived later and allowed herself to be arrested by police officers.
Earlier on the day of the incident, Cosby and Berry became involved in a domestic altercation at a home on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Cosby reportedly told police she was beaten by Berry and had enough of the physical abuse, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. She identified herself as the owner of a white Mercedes SUV parked nearby.
Media reports said the couple dated for a decade but split up. However, a sexual relationship continued.
Court records showed Berry was charged with family violence twice. In a case in 2014, he was charged with misdemeanor assault. He served a month in jail after his probation was revoked.
Police reports stated last year, Berry punched Cosby in the head. Police affidavit records stated she was found with bruises on her face and as well as a cut to her upper lip. She refused to speak with a family violence counselor, police said.
Officers wanted to elevate the charge last year to a felony because of Berry’s previous family violence conviction. Investigators also noted a family violence complaint involving the couple from 2010. No charges were filed.
Berry admitted hitting his girlfriend. The court deferred judgment and sentenced him to five years’ probation, records show.
There are a number of defenses to murder in Texas. Domestic violence can be a factor in justifiable homicide cases, but the killer must prove he or she used reasonable force in response to a reasonable legitimate and reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death.
You must react only with the level of force necessary to protect yourself. If there is an element of premeditation, such as when a domestic violence victim hunts down an abuser, the defense of justifiable homicide is unlikely to succeed.
If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter, call our experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer today.