Weatherford Democrat

March 12, 2013

Woman says killing was self-defense


Weatherford Democrat

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By CHRISTIN COYNE

In a 911 call released by the Parker County Sheriff’s Office Monday, murder suspect Roni Catherine Lisenbe told authorities she shot her boyfriend in self-defense during a physical altercation Friday night.

“I just killed my boyfriend because he was beating me,” 33-year-old Lisenbe tells the Parker County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher during the nearly 10-minute audio recording. 

She also claims she fired a warning shot before killing 38-year-old Richard Graves. 

“He was hitting me and pushing me and he got in my face and I got my gun out and I told him not to come at me and I fired a warning shot,” Lisenbe states during the call. 

The two were fighting, “and I told him he needed to get out and he kept pushing me and throwing me to the ground and I kept telling him to leave me alone,” Lisenbe said. 

She had been home watching television that evening and Graves had just arrived home, Lisenbe told authorities. 

Graves had been drinking but she had not, she said. 

Lisenbe sounds extremely upset during much of the emergency phone call.

“He’s dead, he’s dying, please help me,” Lisenbe screams at one point.

Arriving deputies found Lisenbe on the porch of her home in the 3500 block of U.S. Highway 199 West and Graves on the floor in a bedroom of the house. 

Graves was transported to the hospital in Azle, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, who had not released a ruling on the cause of death as of Monday evening. 

Lisenbe was taken into custody, transported to the Parker County Jail and charged with murder, with bond set at $100,000. 

Authorities also seized a Glock 23 handgun, believed to have been used to kill Graves. 

Amy Sands, Lisenbe’s manager at a hair salon where Lisenbe has worked for the past three years, told the Democrat that Lisenbe previously told coworkers that she feared Graves and that he had assaulted her.

The two had been in a relationship for a couple months and Graves had recently been staying with Lisenbe, according to Sands.

“She had made a couple of comments to us that she was afraid,” Sands said.

Sands said Lisenbe also told coworkers earlier during the week that she was on a phone with an ex-boyfriend who lived in another part of the state when Graves attacked her and choked her. They were told the ex-boyfriend heard Graves yelling over the phone and ended up calling 911, she said.

Lisenbe told them she’d given Graves until the first of April to be gone, Sands said.