Newlyweds had long, separate histories of domestic disputes before fatal Macon shooting

What is Macon Regional Crimestoppers and how to contact them

Macon Regional Crime Stoppers serves eight counties which are: Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, and Twiggs. You can submit tips over the phone or online.
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Macon Regional Crime Stoppers serves eight counties which are: Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, and Twiggs. You can submit tips over the phone or online.

Tomeko Hughes Thompson wiped tears from her eyes as she stood before a Bibb County Magistrate Court judge Tuesday afternoon.

The 48-year-old is accused of shooting her husband in the chest during an argument that turned physical 24 hours earlier at their house on Macon’s south side. Her daughter called 911, police said.

Albert Leroy Blash, 61, was pronounced dead not long after the 1 p.m. shooting Monday at 5908 Leone Drive West.

Thompson, handcuffed and in an orange jumpsuit, fidgeted with a pair of glasses. Her voice trembled as she told the judge her name and date of birth. She said she understood the charge against her.

Bond was set at $35,000.

Thompson was charged with malice murder. As investigators questioned her and learned more about the confrontation, the charged was changed to voluntary manslaughter, Bibb County sheriff’s Sgt. Clay Williams said.

Williams was unable to provide specific details about what led to the lesser charge, but said, “generally, for malice murder, you just walk up to somebody and kill them for no reason.”

In a manslaughter case, “there’s not enough to prove that you planned it out,” he said. “It was more like a spur-of-the-moment murder.”

A history of domestic violence among newlyweds

Thompson and Blash had separate histories of domestic violence before Monday’s deadly encounter, according to Bibb County Superior Court records.

Blash, married numerous times, was a recidivist family violence offender.

In 1986, he was convicted of felony terroristic threats and served time in prison, records show.

A woman who married Blash in 2002 filed two separate protective orders against him. Two years into their marriage, the woman reported to police that she and Blash got into an argument over the kinds of library books she checked out. The woman told police Blash slapped her as she was driving him to work so she pulled over on the side of the road, according to court records.

“He slapped me again, punching me, so I told him to get out of my car,” the woman wrote in the petition for a protective order against Blash. “This is not the first order I’ve had against him. I’m afraid for him to come back home.”

In 2005, Blash was indicted on charges including aggravated stalking and simple battery after he violated the protective order by showing up at her house on Clayton Street.

The woman alleged he left visible scratches on her face and had come there solely “for the purpose of harassing and intimidating” her, according to the indictment. Blash was not prosecuted on either charge.

The woman divorced Blash in 2006 and cited physical and mental abuse, adultery and irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce.

In March 2009, Blash married a woman who lived off Columbus Road.

The woman, who had sought help from the Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia Inc., filed a petition for a yearlong temporary order for protection against him in May.

The woman had been married to Blash for 90 days when, according to court records, he threatened to kill her and held her against her will.

In a police report that was part of the court case, the woman told officers that Blash “hit me in my face and said, ‘Bitch I will kill you,’ and That he hated me.”

She went on to say that Blash then picked up a butcher knife, held it to her face and “said he will gut me like a fish.”

The woman cut her hand on the knife during a struggle with Blash. She tried to run to her car but said Blash caught her by the collar, dragged her back inside and told her she “would be dead before police arrived,” the report said.

Blash was charged with aggravated assault and battery family violence, but the aggravated assault charge was not prosecuted.

Blash was sentenced to 185 days in a felony probation detention center plus five years probation. He also was required to undergo a batterer’s intervention program.

The woman divorced him in 2011, citing reasons of “mental, verbal and physical abuse and for reasons of abandonment.”

Blash got a job with the City of Macon’s public works department and moved in to an apartment off Northside Drive with a woman and her two teenage sons.

That relationship, too, would soon sour.

Blash was indicted on charges of simple battery and theft by taking that stemmed from an incident in February 2012. According to the indictment, Blash grabbed the woman by the throat and shoved her into her bedroom. He also threatened to kill her 16-year-old son and told her she had “better get her black dress ready,” according to court records. Blash left the apartment complex in the woman’s 1998 Honda Accord and did not return.

The woman was granted a yearlong order of protection against Blash.

In 2013, Blash pleaded guilty to simple battery and theft by taking. He was ordered to complete the Bibb County Family Violence Court program and the Family Violence Intervention Program. He also was charged with violating probation.

In June 2014, Blash married a Dodge County native. The couple separated on March 14 this year. The divorce was finalized June 2.

Then, Blash married Thompson.

Familiar behavior

Before Blash, Thompson had sought help from the Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia Inc. for domestic abuse in other relationships.

Court records show Thompson petitioned the court for an order of protection in 1996 against her husband, Jerome Vanzant. The petition was dismissed. The couple divorced in 1997.

In December 2011, she filed a petition for a yearlong protective order against Eric Dewayne Black Sr., her ex-husband and father to her daughter. The couple married in July 2002, separated in 2003 and divorced in 2004.

According to the petition for protection, Black had harassed Thompson for years.

Black, according to the petition, would call Thompson under the guise of talking about their child but then would “say things like, ‘I want to make love to you,’ or ‘Can I take you out.’ ” He also would show up to her workplace, follow her to her car or meet her at her car.

When Thompson was 19, Black sneaked into her home and “popped out from under her bed when she got home from work,” the petition said.

Black had previously been convicted of aggravated assault, possession of a gun by a felon, escape and auto theft. He was imprisoned from 1989-1990 then again in 1993-2002.

Thompson married another man in 2010 but divorced in 2011. In 2014, Thompson filed a petition for a temporary protective order against her ex-husband, but it was dismissed a week later.