Tessa Brennaman said in her first TV interview that she lived in "constant fear" during her marriage with Devin Patrick Kelley, the 26-year-old gunman who killed 26 people at a Sutherland Springs church in Texas last week.
A violent, abusive husband.
She spoke with CBS News as part of an "Inside Edition" segment last Friday, opening up about their brief one-year marriage, and how he was abusive both to her and her child from a previous relationship. She recounted the time the discharged Air Force airman threatened to kill her and her whole family. "“I could just bury you somewhere here in the desert and nobody would ever find you," he said to her once.
“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him,” said Brennaman, 25, who married Kelley in 2011 and then divorced a year later. But that short marriage to Kelley was filled with violence and abuse. She described one traumatic interaction she had with him over a speeding ticket.
“He had a gun in his holster,” said Brennaman. “And he took that gun out and he put it to my temple and said, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?’”
The first wife of the Texas church gunman is speaking out for the first time. Tessa Brennaman talked to… https://t.co/FLlnPzDrr5— CBS This Morning ❄️ (@CBS This Morning ❄️) 1510576789.0
Kelley one time fractured her son's skull, and he would choke, beat, and kick Brennaman repeatedly on the ground. “There would be times where I would be on the floor curled up and having to protect my organs because he would be violently kicking me on my side.”
Court-martialed on two counts of assault.
Shortly after the divorce in 2012, Kelley pleaded guilty to two charges of assault in a military courtroom. He served a year in a military prison before receiving a dishonrable discharge in 2014. He remarried later that year.
The domestic violence conviction made it illegal for Kelley to purchase firearms,
But the Air Force admitted last week that they failed to enter his conviction into a national database, one that is checked by licensed gun sellers, including the one that sold Kelley an AR-15, which he later used at the church where his second wife's family worshipped.
The Air Force pledges "a comprehensive review" to make sure they didn't miss anyone else...
Too little, too late.
People are quick to blame the Air Force, as opposed to, well, the guy pulling the trigger, or Republicans.
@HuffPost IMHO the Air Force is responsible for the deaths of all those people and should have to pony up millions to the victims.— Bobby Peru (@Bobby Peru) 1510532560.0
But then someone points out that our military is not required to report criminal verdicts to the state.
@dilloking @Swohtz @mtadams29 @DanesDad @BeckyJohnson222 @SenatorDurbin KNOW THE FACTS.........The Texas Shooter wa… https://t.co/nUBHfuGPsn— ImagineThat (@ImagineThat) 1510149716.0
Either way, there is one thing Tessa can do now.
@HuffPost Breath my dear, your nightmare is over..— Michele (@Michele) 1510531682.0
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.