By Ed Brock
A Jonesboro man told police he shot his wife's cousin in self defense and then accidentally shot his wife to death when she struggled with him for the gun at their home Tuesday.
Dario Reynolds Crosdale, 38, shot his wife, 35-year-old Mona Crosdale, two or three times in the upper torso, Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner said. Mona Crosdale was also hit on the head with a hammer, Turner said, and her cousin Lanny Roberts, 33, was shot several times as well in the argument that occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Dario Crosdale had told police that Roberts attacked him with a knife, but Turner said no knife was found on or around Roberts' body.
After the shootings Crosdale apparently took the couple's children, ages 12 and 5, to a babysitter's house and dropped the hammer used to hit Mona Crosdale in a trashcan at a gas station on Noah's Ark Road. Turner said the children were in the house at the time of the shootings but he didn't know if they saw anything.
Crosdale then went to the Solid Rock Baptist Church on Washington Road in Fulton County and confessed to his minister about the shootings, Turner said.
Around 8 a.m. Tuesday an officer with the Fulton County Police Department called the Clayton County Police Department to report that he had Crosdale, now charged with two counts of murder, in custody and he had admitted to the shootings. Two Clayton County officers went to the Crosdale house on Deer Creek Crossing Trace and saw a body covered with blood, Roberts' body, lying on the floor of the kitchen. Mona Crosdale's body was also found in the kitchen.
The violence that had occurred in the home stunned Gwenevere McCord of Jonesboro. She had sold the relatively new, two story home to the Crosdale's in February.
"They were very nice. That's why I'm surprised," said McCord as she stood in the yard of a house across from the crime scene.
None of the Crosdale's neighbors would talk about the incident, but McCord said everybody had told her that things were quiet at the Crosdale home the night before the incident. She described Dario Crosdale as very polite and quiet, but she had never met Roberts.
Turner said Roberts had been staying with the Crosdales for about two months.
McCord said the couple had come from New York and that both worked for Delta Air Lines.