I was reading an article at Salon.com when another article caught my eye. A marriage counselor was murdered by her husband. I’m thinking wow. But then as I continued to read, something about this article amazed me. The deceased, Tonya Hunter had met her husband Maurice Lyons in an anger management class she was teaching last summer and they were married in December 2009.
A few days later, Hunter was found in her garage, stabbed to death. Her little boy, who had been abandoned on a street corner, led police to her body. And her husband, whom she had met in an anger-management class she taught, was arrested.
The husband, Maurice Lyons, was taken into custody Monday and is being held on pending charges of aggravated murder and domestic violence. The couple, who married in December, had met when Lyons was a student in one of Hunter’s classes last year, Wairegi said. Lyons was released from prison last winter after serving three years for burglary and theft.
Maurice Lyons had been released from prison in February 2009 after serving 3 years for burglary. Lyons is a repeat felon with a criminal record dating back to the late 1980’s.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Lyons, who also served prison time for a string of crimes in Missouri and Illinois between 1989 and 1998, including a 10-year term handed down for a carjacking in Bloomington, Ill.
Now I don’t like to blame the victim but why oh why did Ms. Hunter rush into a marriage with this guy? According to her former secretary she was so in love with this guy. Was she desperate to get married? A marriage counselor rushing into a marriage with a repeat felon with anger issues. She had to have known about his background yet she still married him. Did she think that he would change? According the article in Cleveland.com the couple was fighting after their wedding.
Darlene James, Hunter’s former secretary, attended the couple’s December wedding. James said Lyons was a student in a class Hunter taught last summer at Bryant & Stratton College.
“He was always sending her poems,” James said. “He would bring her lunch at the office. He was just trying to win her over.”
James questioned Hunter about why she would marry him so soon after meeting, particularly since he had a criminal record.
“She’s a marriage and family counselor,” James said. “It didn’t make sense that she didn’t give it time to develop. But she was in love. I have never seen her so happy.”
Others who worked in the Southgate Office Building where Hunter based her business said she and Lyons seemed a strange match.
“They were complete opposite personalities,” said Rob Weakely, who worked in the office next to Hunter’s.
The couple started fighting right after the wedding, James said, with Hunter sometimes calling in to cancel appointments after a fight. Lyons also complained if Hunter scheduled evening appointments, James said.
Hunter called Cleveland Police in late March to report that Lyons punched her in the back of the head in their driveway after an argument. After telling Lyons she filed the complaint, he told her, “If I go to back to jail, I will kill you,” according to court documents.
The media has been bombarding us with articles about how difficult it is for black women to find a good man. And you have some folks telling black women to settle for less. Is this what Tonya Hunter did? This marriage killed her.
According to police, Hunter’s 4-year-old son Timothy was dropped off alone on a street corner about 10 p.m. Sunday and eventually led them to his mother’s body. The child remains in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services but could be given to family members today.
I really feel sorry for Tonya Hunter’s son. Did he witness his mother’s murder? My prayers go out to Ms. Hunter’s family.