Arkansas man shoots ex, mom-in-law dead before killing himself two days after divorce, leaves kids orphaned
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS: A 32-year-old father allegedly killed his mother-in-law, his former wife, and eventually turned the gun to himself after his divorce in an apparent murder-suicide case. The tragedy left two of his children orphaned. Daniel Dewitt has been accused of shooting dead his ex-wife 31-year-old Amanda, and Amanda's mother 61-year-old Debra Allen.
The shooting, which reportedly occurred this week on Wednesday, November 18, unfolded two days after a judge granted Daniel and Amanda a divorce. The decision left the pair's two children in their mother's custody, according to KARK. An investigation into the double murder-suicide has been launched by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. Lt Robert Garrett, in a statement, said that police officials were called to Amanda's home in Little Rock after receiving a disturbance call.
"She can be heard screaming on the phone and the male subject can also be heard screaming," the officer said, referring to the phone call the emergency services received. "By the time our units arrived, they found two persons deceased outside then once they went inside, they found the woman’s mother also deceased." Garret added that the couple's two children, aged nine and ten, were present at home during the shooting and the neighbors claimed that they witnessed the murder-suicide.
According to court records, Daniel filed for divorce in April while Amanda filed for an order of protection against him three months later. She cited "26 incidents of harassment, failure to exchange possession of the children according to custody rulings, taking his children from her possession without her knowledge and an alleged attempted break-in," as per the documents obtained by Arkansas Online. She later dropped the request. Amanda and Daniel were granted temporary joint legal custody of their children on September 11 this year.
In a similar suspect murder-suicide case, a woman from Massachusetts died on Monday, November 16, after she was allegedly killed by her son before he turned the gun on himself. Wayland police, on Monday night, received a 911 call from a resident reporting two deaths, according to a press release issued by Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. Officers, after arrival at the house, found 68-year-old Cheryl Kane, treasurer/collector for the Maynard town, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. According to authorities, Kane was shot dead by her son in her home's garage as she was beginning to get out of her car after recovering from work. The son, identified as 41-year-old Richard Kane, Jr, was also found unresponsive in the garage. Neighbors also reported hearing loud bangs at about 4.45 pm.
Cheryl was reportedly scheduled to be honored at her work on Tuesday, November 17, during the Maynard Board of Selectmen's meeting, MetroWest Daily News reported. She was due to retire on Friday, November 19 according to police reports. Maynard Town Administrator Greg Johnson, released a statement on her demise, saying: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Maynard’s Treasurer/Collector Cheryl Kane. Cheryl was a wonderful, bright member of our team. She was a tremendous asset to our community, and we’re grateful for the contributions she made during her time with us. Her passing comes as a shock to us all. Our hearts go out to her family and friends during this very difficult time.”