Tabitha Zelida Wood: Georgia woman lived with fiance's dead body for months after murdering him
HALL COUNTY, GEORGIA: A bride-to-be lived with her fiance's corpse for a couple of months after killing him in a desperate attempt to hide her crime. However, the grisly details of the incident came to light when the victim's stepdaughter became concerned after she did not hear from him for months.
According to WSB-TV, 46-year-old Tabitha Zelida Wood was found guilty of killing and concealing the death of her fiance, Leroy Franklin Kramer Jr, 82, by a jury in Hall County, Georgia, on Friday, March 17. In June 2021, Kramer's stepdaughter reported that she was concerned for his safety after not hearing from him for several months.
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How was Franklin Kramer Jr killed?
According to an autopsy report, the 82-year-old had died by homicide, with the preliminary cause of death being blunt and sharp force trauma, the sheriff's office said. The Hall County Sheriff's deputies discovered the body when they arrived at his home. Wood told the authorities that Kramer had died in early April and she had been living with his dead body ever since for more than two months.
What are the charges Wood is facing?
Wood was found guilty of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, exploitation of an elderly person, concealing the death of another and financial transaction card theft. Wood said that she slept beside her dead fiance for three days before she "came to her senses. She came to realize that he was dead only after that and said it was something she "couldn't accept," according to Gainesville Times.
When did their relationship start?
After being introduced to each other by a mutual friend, Wood's relationship with Kramer started after they first met for breakfast at Burger King. Kramer explained that he needed help and was sick of living alone. Wood then moved into his Candler Road home in 2020 and got engaged to him the following year.
According to Wood, Kramer "became aggressive" as the relationship progressed. She claimed that he would hit her with belt, especially when she refused to have sex with him. Wood said Kramer asked her if she wanted to go into the bedroom and have sex around the time of his death, which she refused.
What did Wood tell the court?
During the trial, Wood said that she told Kramer she would have agreed to get physical with him only if that would bring an end to the abuse and torture. "I ended up not doing it and him starting hitting me with a belt again," she added, according to the Daily Mail. Kramer said to her that she was going to have sex with him and marry him later that evening but she claimed that he allegedly grabbed her hair as she was trying to push him away.
While she claimed that she kicked him, she also testified she "possibly could have blacked out." Wood said she left the house and only came back to the house the next morning to make breakfast Kramer never came to eat. "He had blood dripping from his nose. I kept shaking him saying, 'Leroy, please wake up. Please wake up,'" she added. Wood then lived with Kramer's lifeless body for three days and then decided to hide the body in her house as she believed "nobody would listen" to her story.