Domestic violence deaths surge; bloody weekend leaves 5 dead in EBR Parish
BATON ROUGE - Domestic violence prosecutors are calling it one of the worst weekends for domestic violence in recent years. Over a 48-hour window, five people would be dead in two murder-suicides and one murder.
The violence began Friday night on Pecan Tree Drive. That's where deputies said Carlos Plaza shot and killed his estranged wife, Luz Posada, before turning the gun on himself.
Sunday night, detectives said Vinnie Mackie killed Myesha Davis before also shooting himself.
Overnight, there was a fifth death. Investigators said Ebonie Hartwell shot and killed her boyfriend Dario Stanley after a disagreement on Metairie Drive.
"Our office is struggling like everyone else with the vast amount of people trying to offer services and trying to prosecute properly and hold people accountable and hold offenders accountable," domestic violence prosecutor Melanie Fields said.
Last year, the parish logged 19 domestic violence deaths, a record number. This year, there have been 33 domestic violence deaths with two months left in the year.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit also learned that protective orders have increased four times from prior years. The court is issuing them as a condition of bail for domestic violence cases.
"For us as law enforcement, all we can do is identify them and offer services and intervene before the fatality," Fields said. "The community, if you see it, you want to urge that person to be supportive. You can't make someone leave a relationship but you can urge them to seek out counseling or help."
Sandra Hally is a domestic abuse survivor. She has the scars on her back that show the extraordinary abuse she endured. Her alleged abuser is set to go to trial next month, and she's still having to undergo dental work for the beatings she received.
"Some people are afraid to talk. They are ashamed of what people would think," Hally said. "But it's a reason why I made it out, and I know God wants me to help somebody."
Anyone who needs help can call the Iris Domestic Violence Center. Their 24-hour hotline is 225-389-3001.
Resources can also be found with The Butterfly Society at 225-347-7725.
More resources can be found below.
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