Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

November 28, 2012

Couple had history of domestic issues

Glasgow Daily Times

HORSE CAVE — Friends and family members congregated Tuesday at the homes of Jason Horton and Jamie Tapscott to offer their condolences and to provide whatever support they could give.

Horton, 33, allegedly shot and killed Tapscott, 28, Monday at the home she shared with her mother, Melissa Jewell, and her grandmother, Molly Griffin, on Water Street in Horse Cave. He then returned to the home he shared with his mother, Betty Logsdon, on Bale Road in Cave City, where he allegedly shot and killed himself.

Kentucky State Police were first contacted about a shooting on Water Street in Horse Cave at 6:08 p.m. Monday. When the state police arrived on the scene, troopers discovered Tapscott’s body with an apparent gunshot wound.

Twenty minutes later, Barren County dispatch was contacted regarding a shooting on Bale Road in Cave City.

Deputies with the Barren County Sheriff’s Office first secured the scene until state police arrived. Troopers discovered Horton’s body with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A preliminary investigation by state police indicates Horton was the suspect in the alleged murder of Tapscott. Both bodies were taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville for autopsy.

Preliminary autopsy results revealed that Tapscott died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. She was pronounced dead at the scene, said Jeff Roten, Hart County coroner.

The cause of Horton’s death was ruled as a suicide, said Tim Gibson, deputy Barren County coroner.

According to family members, a 911 call was made by a 7-year-old boy who was at Tapscott’s home when the shooting occurred. The 7-year-old was Horton’s nephew. The couple’s 5-year-old son was also present when his mother was shot. Tapscott’s other child, a daughter, was with her great-grandmother when the shooting happened.

Horton and Tapscott had been a couple for about five to six years and had a history of domestic violence, yet Monday’s tragedy caught both families off guard.

Tapscott’s great-uncle, Larry Sexton, said on Tuesday that he never heard his great-niece say she was afraid of Horton, however, she did have an emergency protective order against him.

Sexton also said he knew and other family members knew Horton had slapped Tapscott around a few times.

As far as other matters going on between the couple, Sexton said his niece “wouldn’t talk much about it.”

Logsdon said her son often tried to keep from fighting with Tapscott.

“A lot of times he would go to the bedroom to try to keep from fighting with her,” said Logsdon. “They both just had a lot of problems.”

Logsdon also said Tapscott “was always threatening him with the law.”

Horton and Tapscott’s legal history dated back to 2008, according to Barren County Circuit Court records. Tapscott filed an emergency protective order against Horton on July 16, 2008, and then again on March 20, 2009, when Tapscott alleged to Cave City police that Horton attempted to choke her during a fight. In February of 2012, Horton was charged with harassing communications against Tapscott, and in the same week Horton and Tapscott had a small claims case in Barren Circuit Court.

Horton was again charged and convicted of harassing communications against Tapscott at the end of April, but received a suspended sentence until there was another assault incident a week later.

On the morning of May 3, Horton and Tapscott were both arrested after Cave City police were called to Horton’s Bale Avenue address in response to a domestic violence complaint. Horton and Tapscott had different stories about how the fight developed, and since both had minor injuries, they were each arrested. Later that day, the Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force received a complaint of possible methamphetamine manufacturing at Horton’s property. Cave City Sgt. Jeff Wright, who arrested Horton and Tapscott that morning, was called back to Bale Road to search for methamphetamine. Wright found suspected meth, chemicals, equipment, meth precursors and an old HCL generator in an out building. Horton was charged that day with manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense; first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The couple had been living with Logsdon in Cave City for a while, but Tapscott left and moved in with her mother and grandmother in Horse Cave. She had been living with her mother and grandmother for about a month prior to Monday’s shooting, Sexton said.

Horton had spoken to Tapscott on the phone Monday. He came out of the bedroom and told his mother he would be back, Logsdon said.

He later called Logsdon on the phone and told her he had shot Tapscott.

“I didn’t believe him,” Logsdon said.

When Horton returned to Logsdon’s house, he was crying and told his mother, again, he had killed Tapscott. Logsdon then went inside the house, but Horton went behind the house. Those inside then heard a gunshot, Logsdon said.

“He had been depressed,” Logsdon said, adding the depression was brought on by him not being able to see his 14-year-old son for a period of five years. She said he told her he wasn’t going to let Tapscott keep him from seeing their 5-year-old son. “He couldn’t lose another one.”

Tapscott was at home with her sons when the shooting occurred.

Her grandmother, Molly Griffin, had left her alone with the boys and had taken Tapscott’s daughter to Logsdon’s house to retrieve some of Tapscott’s clothes.

“By the time she got back here this had done happened and he had gone back home and shot himself,” Sexton said.

Griffin had tried to offer her granddaughter advice regarding her relationship with Horton.

“I told her I had been through it. I said, ‘Jamie, it’s not worth it,’” Griffin said.

As for the children who were with Tapscott when the shooting occurred, Griffin said, “I don’t think they have realized what has happened.”

Horton’s brother, Chris, is the father of Tapscott’s two oldest children. All three children are staying with Chris Horton, according to information from members of both families.

Funeral arrangement information for Horton or Tapscott was not available at press time.