Bethel woman sought protection from man accused of killing her in murder-suicide, records show

BETHEL — The woman killed in a murder-suicide had a court order protecting her from the man officials say killed her Tuesday night inside a Reservoir Street home.

Traci-Marie Jones, 52, was the victim of a homicide and Lester Jones, 58, died by suicide, the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Wednesday. They both died of gunshot wounds, the medical examiner’s office said.

Bethel police had not released their identities as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Records show the two married in 1999, and public records connected both to the home on Reservoir Street where police said the shootings occurred around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday. 

Records show Traci-Marie Jones obtained a court order against Lester Jones on Jan. 24, a week before the fatal shooting. The order prohibited him from having any contact with her, required him to stay at least 100 yards from her and to surrender all firearms and ammunition.

The filing noted that Lester Jones was allegedly in possession of "one or more firearms.” 

Court records show Lester Jones was released on a promise to appear after being arrested on a warrant Jan. 24, stemming from an October 2021 larceny at a lumber yard in Danbury. 

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, surveillance footage showed a man — later identified as Jones — pull up in a 2019 Kia Sportage and take items from the lumber yard.

When questioned by police, Jones admitted stealing several intake vents from the property, saying he had done business with the company in the past and claimed the owners didn’t refund money properly when he would make returns, the warrant stated.

The medical examiner’s office said Wednesday Lester Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head. Traci-Marie Jones died from gunshot wounds to the head and “trunk,” the medical examiner's office said.

Bethel Police Capt. Heather Burnes said officers responded the Reservoir Street home after receiving a call about someone “yelling” in the road late Tuesday. 

When officers arrived, they found the man and woman inside the home “suffering from apparent gunshot wounds,” Burnes said. 

Burnes said police began treating both individuals, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was taken to Danbury Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Burnes said.

Multiple vehicles, including a van and several police cars, were parked around the property, which was taped off on Wednesday morning. A gray Chevrolet sedan with Connecticut plates was towed from the driveway of the residence shortly before noon.

Reservoir Street resident Celso Ferreira said he didn’t know something had happened at the house next door until Wednesday morning.

“I was sleeping and didn’t hear or see anything,” he said.

Ferreira described the residents of the home as friendly, but said he wasn’t close to them.

“They are my neighbors, but I don’t know who was in the house,” he said. “They would say hello and this and that, but nothing more than that.”

State Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Bethel, thanked first responders and shared his condolences to the family, friends and neighbors. 

"I am again, proudly leading efforts in the State House to advocate for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. It is incumbent upon us to stop these preventable tragedies," he said in a statement on Wednesday evening. 

Experts say murder-suicides are rare, but there have been several in recent years in the Danbury area, including two in 2022.

The bodies of a married couple were found inside a Clayton Road home in Danbury in November, four months after a mother killed herself and her three children at their Whaley Street home in Danbury.

An older couple died in a murder-suicide at Danbury’s Sterling Woods condominium complex in October 2020, and a New Fairfield couple died in a murder-suicide in 2019.

There was also an apparent murder-suicide attempt in Bethel in 2016 that left one man dead and two people injured.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Bethel police responded at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday.