Sheriff: Husband kills wife, self near Denham Springs

The estranged wife of a Denham Springs man, visiting their children at the family home Wednesday night, was the victim of a suspected murder-suicide and had recently taken out two restraining orders against her husband, claiming he had threatened to “destroy” her.

Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies were called just after 7 p.m. Wednesday to the 28000 block of Grand Turk Drive near Denham Springs about a shooting, Sheriff Jason Ard said Thursday in a news release.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to say who made the call to 911.

Deputies discovered the bodies of Marlon J. Reed Sr., 38, and his wife, Aleria Cyrus Reed, 35; it appeared Marlon Reed shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself, Ard said.

The Sheriff’s Office is still trying to determine what sparked the argument between the two and what led to the shooting. Marlon Reed and Aleria Reed were married but were separated at the time of the shooting, Ard said.

Marlon Reed was living at the Grand Turk Drive home with the couple’s two young children while Aleria Reed was living with relatives in Baton Rouge, the sheriff said.

Deputies have been called to the home in the past for alarm activation calls but not for any domestic issues, Ard said.

Deputies found documents at the home that showed Aleria Reed filed a petition for a protection order in Livingston Parish against her husband that alleged he had abused her, Ard said.

Court records show she had taken out another restraining order against her husband in East Baton Rouge Parish, where they married in May 2004 before moving to Denham Springs. That order was granted, and a Jan. 21 hearing had been set in the case.

The temporary protective order granted in Livingston Parish would have expired March 20. The petition for that protective order, filed Dec. 20 in 21st Judicial District court, claims her husband threatened her with physical harm, including a Dec. 14 threat to “destroy me and destroy my life.”

Aleria Reed also filed a petition for divorce on Dec. 23 in East Baton Rouge Parish that mentions threats of violence from her husband.

Court records in both parishes mention a Dec. 19 incident that seemed to spark a rapid increase in tension between the two.

The couple separated physically that day after Aleria Reed felt the need to leave because of her husband’s “extremely controlling and emotionally abusive behavior.”

While Aleria Reed was attending a service at their church later that day, Marlon Reed walked into the building and told Aleria Reed that he was going to try to take her personal property, court records say.

“He told me that he was in control of me and could do whatever he needed to do to get any of my personal information or belongings,” Aleria Reed’s Livingston petition says.

Marlon Reed grabbed his wife’s cellphone and refused to return it, court records show.

Security guards allegedly had to restrain him.

Marlon Reed left with the pair’s two children but called his wife 10 minutes later to say that she was welcome to come home but that he “would continue controlling every aspect of my life,” court records say.

Aleria Reed moved to a home on Lake Sherwood Acres subdivision in Baton Rouge, while Marlon Reed stayed at the Grand Turk Drive residence, court records say.

Aleria Reed said she became concerned for her safety because of the threats Marlon Reed had made against her life and because he carried a loaded handgun at all times.

She was also concerned because his family has a history of violence, the petition says.

In August 2008, Marlon Reed’s brother killed his girlfriend when she tried to end their relationship, the petition says. Neither the brother nor the girlfriend are named.

Marlon Reed had said to his wife a year ago that he would “end it all” and commit suicide when she suggested they separate, the petition says.

Court records show the couple had two sons — Marlon Reed Jr., 6, and Austin Reed, 3. Aleria Reed claimed her husband took their children and that she did not know where they were.

Aleria Reed filed a petition Jan. 2 in East Baton Rouge Parish for sole custody of the children, but the courts granted joint custody instead.

Marlon Reed worked at Southern University from October 2006 to December 2007 in the university’s student media office, university spokesman Edward Pratt said. Reed helped with the student newspaper, the Southern Digest, and the university’s yearbook.

Reed also worked in Southern’s athletic department between 1999 and 2001 as an assistant sports information director and interim sports information director, Pratt said.

Reed also wrote for The Advocate as a freelance sportswriter.

Timothy Crockett, one of Marlon Reed’s cousins, said Marlon Reed was “one of the best persons I ever met.”

Crockett, whose father is Marlon Reed’s first cousin, said Reed always spoke highly about his family and his responsibilities at home. He said he never saw any issues between Reed and his wife.

“He always spoke about how much he loved his girl,” Crockett said.

Ural Garrett, 26, a former writer for the Southern Digest, said he considered Marlon Reed to be a mentor of his at the university.

Garrett said he kept in touch with Reed after graduating in December 2008. He said he spoke to Reed as recently as October and “everything seemed fine” with Reed’s marriage, as it had seemed in the past.

“It’s just an absolute shock,” Garrett said.

“The dude was extremely laid-back,” Garrett added. “I never saw him angry.”

Garrett said he first became close with Reed after Reed invited him to take a visit to a cigar shop in 2006. He said they talked and discovered they had a lot in common.

“After that I thought he was the coolest dude ever,” Garrett said.

Family members of Aleria Reed could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Aleria Reed worked as a software manager for Amedisys, said Jacqueline Chen Valencia, the company’s senior vice president for marketing and communications.

Reed was respected by her colleagues and was an invaluable member of the company, Valencia said.

“Our hearts go out to her two young boys, family and friends during this most difficult time,” Valencia said in a statement.

Anyone interested in making donations to help Aleria Reed’s family can contact Amedisys via email at contributions@amedisys.com.