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UPDATE: Girl, grandmother in home during murder-suicide

KENTON — Teresa (Botchlett) Nelson’s voice was calm as she called Hardin County 9-1-1Tuesday morning.

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ABOVE: Deputies investigate the scene at 10146 County Road 195, Kenton, Tuesday morning,where Justin Manns stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Teresa Nelson, to death as her eight-year-old daughter looked on, before taking his own life. (TIMES PHOTO/TY THAXTON) BELOW: Teresa Nelson and Justin Manns in happier times.

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Her ex-boyfriend, Justin Manns of Kenton, was at her front door, she told the dispatcher and was refusing to leave. Within the next few minutes the scene at 10146 Co. Rd. 195 exploded into a nightmare with Nelson’s eight-year-old daughter and grandmother in the home while Manns murdered the 28-year-old mother.

Manns had been to the house on Monday, Nelson explained to the dispatcher as the call began shortly after 10 a.m. During that visit, he had threatened to kill himself and displayed a knife to Nelson.

She shared the experience with a law enforcement officer, who advised her to call the sheriff if Manns returned. Nelson can be heard telling Manns this on the recording of the 9-1-1 call.

“There is an unwanted person at my door and he will not leave,” she had reported. “I am scared for my life.”

Sheriff Keith Everhart said his deputies had been told Manns and Nelson had been in a relationship, but had recently broken up.

“What recently means, I’m not sure,” said the sheriff. “He was frustrated over things ... We had dealt with both of these people in the past over narcotics issues, but I don’t know of any domestic issues.”

The dispatcher assured Nelson officers were on their way to the house located about three miles northeast of Kenton and she would remain on the phone with her until the deputies arrived. She advised Nelson not to talk with Manns until after help arrived, but the woman screamed Manns was kicking in the door.

“He’s got me by the hair! He stabbed me! He stabbed me!” Nelson is heard to scream before the call went dead.

Everhart said the dispatcher immediately tried to reconnect with Nelson and the phone was answered by her daughter.

“Justin stabbed her!” the girl cried out. “I’m scared.”

The dispatcher attempted to calm the girl who was hiding with her grandmother in a nearby room with no door or closet.

“Call my daddy, please,” said the girl through her tears.

The dispatcher assured the girl help was on the way to “to help mommy and get the bad man.”

“Is mommy dead?” the girl asked the dispatcher. “Is she dead? I don’t want my mommy to be dead.”

As deputies arrived, they found Nelson on the floor of the house. She had been stabbed several times, said Everhart. Manns was laying on the floor beside her where he had stabbed himself in the chest with the same knife.

EMTs attempted to revive Manns and Nelson, but were unsuccessful, said Everhart. The bodies were taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for autopsies, he said. BCI&I was called to investigate the scene, the sheriff continued.

“To me, it is clear what happened here,” said Everhart, “but we want to investigate this thoroughly.”

The girl was released to family members and Job and Family Services workers were sent to counsel her.

One of the tragedies of the situation, said Everhart, is the whole scene played out in front of the eight-year-old.

The sheriff said Tuesday’s crime also had an impact on his officers and dispatchers.

“I am worried about my staff and I intend to have a talk with them,” said Everhart. “It impacts all of us because we are supposed to be here to help people and now they are all thinking, ‘What if I had gotten there quicker’ or had done something to stop it. But there are times we can’t get there in time. Sometimes you can’t stop evil.”

For more on this story, visit kentontimes.com.

 

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