By Jeff Lehr
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Rondias L. Webb threatened to shoot his wife two months before he fell under suspicion for doing just that over the weekend, according to allegations in court records.
Monica M. Webb, 36, who was fatally shot in the head about 10:20 p.m. Saturday inside her apartment at 3415 E. 15th St. in Joplin, obtained a protection order against her husband in September.
“I don’t know what he is capable of doing,” she wrote in the application for the order. “But he has made it very clear that if he went to jail over me, I would be sorry.”
Rondias “Ronald” Webb, 35, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic assault after an incident Sept. 23 at an apartment the couple formerly shared at 1731 E. 33rd St.
Monica Webb wrote in her request for a protection order that he would not let her leave the apartment the day in question, but she managed to sneak out the door when his back was turned. He chased her down and tackled her outside their home, she wrote.
“He was on top of me, telling me to stop yelling or he was gonna put a bullet in me,” she wrote. “I continued to yell. He then grabbed a rock and told me to shut up.”
A probable-cause affidavit alleges that he threatened to bash her head in if she screamed. She ended up walking away without having been shot or struck with the rock. But he followed her and kept trying to take her phone away, she wrote in the request. He told her that if she called police and he was arrested, she would be sorry, her application stated.
Recent turns in the couple’s relationship are part of a police investigation into the double shooting, including an alleged violation of the protection order on Nov. 4.
Rondias Webb also was found critically wounded inside the apartment where his wife had moved during their separation. Both shooting victims were taken to Freeman Hospital West, where she died Sunday afternoon. He was reported to be in stable medical condition Monday.
Police Lt. Darren Gallup said he did not expect charges to be filed until sometime today or Wednesday, but he said investigators have reason to believe that Monica Webb was killed by her husband.
“It is a homicide, and right now, we’re not looking at any suspects other than Rondias,” Gallup said.
He declined to discuss if investigators believe Rondias Webb attempted suicide after shooting his wife.
Gallup said Monica Webb suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head. An autopsy scheduled to be performed today will determine if there was more than one shot to her head, he said. Gallup said Rondias Webb is believed to have been shot a single time in the head. A .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene, he said.
The shootings were reported by a woman who was coming to visit Monica Webb and was outside her apartment at the time. According to Gallup, the two women were on the phone with each other because the witness was unsure which apartment Monica Webb lived in.
Neither woman was aware that the husband was lurking outside, Gallup said. Monica Webb opened her door to step out and make herself visible to the other woman, he said.
“That’s when he rushed in,” Gallup said.
The witness saw a man force his way in, heard a gunshot and fled, he said. She called police moments later, he said.
Newton County Circuit Court records indicate that Rondias Webb failed to appear at a hearing in his domestic assault case on Nov. 7, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Three days earlier, he allegedly violated the protection order by approaching his wife in J.B.’s Piano Bar at 112 S. Main St.
A probable-cause affidavit states that he told her: “I f------ know where you live, and I will be at your apartment.”
Court records show that the Jasper County prosecutor’s office sought a summons to be served on Rondias Webb for the alleged protection order violation. A summons does not require an arrest and can be mailed to a defendant.
Cry for help
MONICA WEBB wrote in her request for a protection order against her husband: “He has threatened me on several occasions, and I feel that he ... would do something to hurt me.”