Jasento Flowers and his wife, Bridgette, had been together for eight years.
For the first half of their marriage, life was good.
Flowers, whod been released from prison in 2001 after serving a decade for dealing cocaine on Macons east side, drove tow trucks and worked at a tire shop. He encouraged her kids to do right and not turn to crime the way he had.
But there was a troubled undercurrent to the couples relationship, her children say.
When him and my mama first met, she was just so happy. Anything she needed, there was nothing we had to want for, Bridgettes son Marquis Moore said.
But he was always a cheater. Before he even met my mama, he was cheating on his wife. But I wasnt gonna judge him for that.
Back before Christmas, Moore, 21, says Bridgette finally had enough of Flowers womanizing ways.
It gets to a point where shes tired of it, she cant deal with it. ... I guess he felt like he could do it, and she took it. She didnt really let it get to her because she loved him, Moore said Tuesday, three days after the shooting that left his 37-year-old mother dead and rendered Flowers, 43, a fugitive wanted for murder.
That was a good woman, Moore said.
An alleged affair, a fight
By appearances, Bridgette Moore Flowers death may have been the culmination of years of pent-up rage and infidelity.
In May 2005, Macon police records show that Flowers was charged with simple assault after he was accused of raising his fist to his then-wife and threatening her during an argument about an affair.
The charge was dismissed when Flowers agreed to attend domestic-violence counseling, according to a Bibb County State Court filing.
Three years later, apparently while he and Bridgette were married, Flowers was charged with simple battery. That charge stemmed from an altercation with his then-girlfriends brother, who alleged that Flowers had beaten his sister and threatened him.
According to a police report, the 5-foot-7, 140-pound Flowers struck the brother in the face with a bottle in a fight on Key Street near Henderson Stadium.
The battery charge was dismissed, court records show, because a witness didnt show up for court.
But the allegations of violence wouldnt end there.
A selfish guy
Late last fall, Bridgette moved some of her six children out of Flowers house on Trinity Place.
She found an apartment just down the hill from Fort Hawkins on Maynard Street, barely half a mile away.
In the years building up to the split, her son Marquis Moore says the couples domestic disputes often erupted in front of him and his siblings.
Moore says he confronted his stepfather, urged him to lay off.
Id give it to him. Id really come at him, Moore said. The main thing is this. He was a selfish guy.
On Valentines Day afternoon, Flowers apparently followed Bridgette to the Gray Highway Wal-Mart. He punched her in the face, knocked her out and, according to a sheriffs report, threatened to kill her and himself.
Jameisa Williams, 18, who stayed with Bridgettes family, was with her at Wal-Mart.
On Tuesday, when she thought back on the episode, Williams wondered what Flowers problem was.
He crazy, she said. Hes always told her, Im gonna kill you.
System is imperfect
Flowers was jailed later that day after he allegedly fought with the deputies whod gone to his house on Trinity to arrest him.
The next day, records show, his bond was set at $13,500 -- $4,500 each for charges of family-violence-related battery, felony obstruction and simple battery on a peace officer.
A special condition of his bond prohibited Flowers from having violent contact with Bridgette or the two deputies who locked him up. Court records also note that he was not allowed to have a gun.
William Shurling, the magistrate who set the bond, said bond is meant to ensure that a person appears in court as ordered, not to keep someone in jail.
These were bondable offenses, Shurling said, adding that serious conditions were attached to Flowers bond.
We cannot help it if somebody goes out and violates the conditions that we set, he said.
Shurling said he hadnt been aware of the allegation that Flowers threatened his wife.
All we can do is look at the warrants, he said.
If Flowers threatened to kill Bridgette, he said, deputies could have brought a terroristic-threats charge, which, coupled with a family-violence charge, carries a higher bond.
Bibb Sheriff David Davis said Flowers is the kind of person we want to try to keep in jail.
But he said the way the system is set up, its almost impossible to lock people away on all but a handful of serious charges.
If someone is hell-bent on doing harm to someone, sometimes its very, very difficult to stop it, Davis said. Its frustrating to us in law enforcement. The system is imperfect.
I love my husband
Bridgette was preparing to divorce Flowers.
Two of her sons say shed also inquired about a restraining order, that Flowers possessiveness of her was already over the top.
He wanted her for himself, Bridgettes 18-year-old son, Raymond Moore, said.
Her older son Marquis said, He didnt want nobody else to be with her. She was his backbone. Every time he failed, she was who picked him up.
But I dont get it, he added. He messed around with all these women.
For the last two weeks of her life, the brothers say Flowers tailed her to work and parked outside the Pizza Hut she helped manage near downtown. They said lately Flowers had worked as a pizza deliveryman on the citys south side.
Marquis says after his mother was cold-cocked at Wal-Mart and Flowers was in jail, Flowers was blowing up her phone, calling all the time.
And she was the one that really made phone calls for him to get out, Marquis said. She really shouldnt have.
But Jamesia Williams, who lived with Bridgettes family, said, She was like, I love my husband.
Marquis, though, made it clear that his mother wasnt trying to help him so much as she was hoping hed just leave her alone.
Williams says Bridgette told Flowers flat out: Im done with you, dont come around me. I just dont want you to go to jail. And I love you. Youre my husband and I do love you.
Bridgette just fell
Saturday night there was a small get-together at Bridgettes new apartment on Maynard Street.
Bridgette and some of the people there piled into her Chrysler minivan and headed for a nearby store.
I aint gonna lie, Williams said, we got some more alcohol and all, some more to drink.
Then they swung out toward the entrance to the Indian Mounds and turned onto Trinity Place off Emery Highway to drop off a friend. The friend lived across Trinity from Flowers.
We sat there for, like, two minutes, Williams said, because someone there got into a spat with a boyfriend.
It was about 10 p.m. Next thing they knew, Flowers was outside the minivan.
Sento walk around the van and say, Whats up? Whats up? Whats the problem? Whats the problem? Williams recalled.
Bridgette, in the drivers seat, didnt answer.
She just looked back at him, Williams said. And then as soon as Bridgette looked back at him, he just shot. He just said, Pop. So instantly, Bridgette just fell.
Bridgette slumped over the steering wheel, shot in her head, dying.
Tearro Moore, Bridgettes 19-year-old daughter who was in the back seat, hit the floorboard and somehow crawled around her wounded mother to throw the van into reverse.
He was steady shooting at us, Williams said. If we wouldnt have thought quick, he would have shot all of us.
Moore snatched the van into drive and away they went, bullets still sailing. She peeked up just enough to steer the half-mile or so back to their place on Maynard.
When they arrived, Williams rushed in to tell Bridgettes kin that shed been shot. Then Williams hurried back to the van to check on the woman who was like a mother to her.
By then, she said, Flowers was there, driving by in a 2001 BMW 740i. He had a gun, she said.
He said, Pow, pow, pow, and thats when he shot me, Williams said.
A bullet tore through her right leg just above the ankle.
Another bullet grazed the leg of a young man on a nearby porch, investigators said.
Tuesday morning, Williams was on crutches, her lower leg wrapped in a thick bandage, propped on a sofa arm in the familys apartment.
Someone knocked on the front door.
Williams told one of Bridgettes sons to see who was there before opening it.
They couldnt be too careful.
Flowers still hadnt been caught.
Contact Joe Kovac Jr. at 744-4397. Contact Amy Leigh Womack at 744-4398.