By Kathy Jefcoats
A Stockbridge man reportedly shot his wife before turning the gun on himself Sunday night n almost five months after she got a 12-month restraining order, saying she thought such an order would protect her from him.
Michael Landon Thomas, 42, died from a gunshot wound but his estranged wife, Carolyn Francis Thomas, 42, is being treated for a gunshot wound to her midsection at Atlanta Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Monday that Thomas requested no information about her condition be released.
Henry County police responded to a 911 call to the couple's home in the 1000 block of Estate Court in Stockbridge. According to neighbors, the couple was arguing before the shooting, which happened outside the home.
Michael Thomas was a state transportation worker in DeKalb County, according to the temporary protection order filed in Henry County Superior Court Aug. 12. He and his wife had four children, 18, 14, 12, and 6.
He was arrested in February 2002 for aggravated battery and cruelty to children when he reportedly hit his wife in the head, knocking out two teeth. However, the case was no-billed by a Henry County grand jury.
"Last year, in February, he was arrested for domestic violence and we went through therapy and it lasted a little while," states her application for a TPO. There is nothing in the court files to show why the grand jury declined to indict Thomas.
According to the protective order, Thomas called the police on her husband May 21, 2003, because he was "shoving her around." On Aug. 12, Thomas said they got into another altercation.
"He started putting his finger in my face and I kept pushing it away and after a while, he choked me," according to her application. "And I called the police and he left."
The application states that Carolyn Thomas filed for divorce the day before seeking the TPO. However, a search of Henry County Superior Court civil records does not show a divorce filed by either spouse.
"I filed for a divorce yesterday and it is a very upsetting situation," she stated. "At present, he is not helping pay the bills or helping with the household except to mow the grass."
After a Sept. 4 hearing, the 12-month TPO was granted by Superior Court Judge Arch McGarity. Michael Thomas was ordered to stay 200 feet away from his wife, her home and place of work. She was given temporary custody of the children and was to receive $625 a month in support.