Woman Murdered Month after Court Denies Protection Order Request

LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. - Most safe havens are a big secret. From who's in it to where it is.

"There is no face to domestic violence," says Lonoke County Safe Haven Executive Director Sarah Brown. "We do see quite a bit of activity of domestic violence."

On Sunday, Lonoke County deputies say Tony Thomas, 58, killed his wife during an argument.

On October 6th, his wife, Elke Thomas filed for an order of protection after he allegedly grabbed her.

The order was denied for 'insufficient proof'.

"As much as you don't want to share those details, you've got to share details," says Brown.  "She may have been afraid to put anything else down."

Victim Rights Advocoate Laura Abbott says the protection order may have been denied for a few reasons.

"My first thought is I wish there would've been more information provided. In no way am I faulting her. We don't know the circumstances when she wrote that under," says Abbott.

Tony's criminal history starts in 1988 with a manslaughter charge.

It's possible Elke did not know her husband faced these charges so it was not included in the affidavit.

"When you're writing a protection order, we have to make sure we're putting real details in those protection orders," says Brown.

Brown says it's cases like these that show more resources are needed for victims of domestic violence.

"Somebody just needs some comfort and some help to be able to stand by their side," she says.

A secret to many who need a light to safety or a light to show the secrets they're facing.

"I'm not even aware if the victim knew all the signs of domestic violence," says Abbott.

Tony is facing first-degree murder charges.

He's in the Lonoke County Jail on a one million dollar bond.


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