The Dallas Morning News

Husband accused in wife’s fatal shooting

Woman killed inside her home after filing divorce petition

- By DEBRA DENNIS RICKY MOON/Special Contributo­r

ARLINGTON — About 10:40 a.m. Thursday, the Tarrant County district clerk’s office officially recorded Stovyne Magee Neal’s divorce petition from her husband, Ronald Lloyd Neal.

Less than 20 minutes later, another Tarrant County agency — the medical examiner — officially recorded her slaying.

Police accused Mr. Neal of gunning down his 30-year-old wife early Thursday inside their southeast Arlington home while her two young children and her elderly stepfather were inside. They managed to escape the home without injury.

Mr. Neal, 32,

is charged with murder and attempted capital murder and is being held without bond in the Arlington City Jail.

The couple wed on Feb. 10, 2007, and their marriage had been rife with discord and violence, records show. On Monday, Mr. Neal moved out.

But he returned around 7 a.m. Thursday and forced his way into the house. He soon began firing, and the boys, ages 7 and 10, got to a phone and dialed 911.

“They said their stepdad had come in and he was mad and they needed the police,” said Arlington police Lt. Blake Miller.

Police surrounded the twostory home and evacuated neighbors while SWAT officers attempted to negotiate with Mr. Neal. At some point after the officers arrived, Ms. Neal’s stepfather also managed to get out of the home. But Mr. Neal — and his wife — remained in- side.

“He would not allow us to talk to her,” Lt. Miller said.

When officers moved in, Mr. Neal fired at them, but they were not injured. The officers did not return fire, however, after realizing that Mr. Neal had run out of ammunition, Lt. Miller said. Moments later, they took the shirtless man into custody as emergency personnel rushed his mortally wounded wife to Harris Methodist Fort Worth, where she was pronounced dead.

Neighbors said Mr. Neal laughed as officers placed him inside a squad car.

“He seemed to be enjoying the attention,” said Alicia Mosher, 19. “ He was yelling and asking where his kids were. I hope the mom rests in peace because she didn’t deserve this.”

Her sons, police said, are with relatives.

Police acknowledg­ed Thursday afternoon that the Neals had a recent history of domestic violence calls to their home.

“We have been to that location a few times in the last six months — around three or four times for complaints of domestic assault,” Lt. Miller said. He said Ms. Neal had been working with the Police Department’s domestic assistance unit.

Ms. Neal’s former sister-inlaw, Tonia Williams, confirmed that the couple’s 16-month marriage had been marred by violence and threats by Mr. Neal against his wife.

“She was afraid of him,” Ms. Williams said. “She said once she got out of this marriage, she would never go back to him.”

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