Crime

Woman charged with fatally stabbing girlfriend hours after release from jail

A Warner Robins woman was fatally stabbed seconds after opening the door to police responding to a call for help.

It was not immediately known if 31-year-old Monis Traci Howard-Roberts was the one who had called 911 about a domestic dispute early Thursday at the Foxwood Apartment Townhomes at 1436 Watson Boulevard, Warner Robins police spokeswoman Jennifer Parson said.

Officers were familiar with the couple from prior domestic violence calls, Parson said.

Police arrived at the complex just before 5:50 a.m. Thursday.

“When (Howard-Roberts) opened the door, the suspect came down the stairs and stabbed her in front of the officers,” Parson said.

The officers repeatedly told the woman to “drop the knife,” Parson said.

“Officers at that point deployed their Taser to eliminate the situation and stop it from happening.”

The alleged assailant, Shaneka Renee Smith, has been charged with murder.

Smith had been released from jail Wednesday where she had been booked on battery and obstruction charges, Parson said.

It was not immediately clear whether those charges were related to another incident with Thursday’s victim.

At about 9 a.m. Monday, Smith was taken to the Houston County jail on battery and obstruction charges. Smith was released at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday on a combined bond of $4,300.

Parson confirmed the couple had a history of domestic violence.

She urged everyone involved in a domestic violence struggle to “break the cycle” and get help to stop future incidents.

“They can be scary. They can be unpredictable but that cycle of violence continues continues,” Parson said.

She recommends victims call the Salvation Army Safe House at 478-923-6294 or the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia at 478-745-9292.

“If you are in a domestic violence situation, please reach out to those resources and get the help that you need and deserve,” Parson said.

The victim was stabbed twice in the upper chest, including a wound that severed an artery, according to a police news release.

“When they got on the scene, everything transpired within 30 seconds,” Parson said. “When she opened the door, all officers saw was the victim. So at that point, with their training, the only option available was Taser to keep everyone in the vicinity safe.”

The officers’ response will be investigated, Parson said..

This is the ninth homicide in Warner Robins this year.

“It’s the most ever for the city of Warner Robins,” Parson said.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, liz_lines

Liz Jarvis Fabian has reported public safety issues in Middle Georgia for over 36 years. The former storm chaser and news anchor for The Weather Channel has won numerous awards including McClatchy President’s Awards for breaking news team coverage. Fabian was named Georgia AP’s best beat reporter in 2017.
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