david_sloneBEVINSVILLE — Tonja Slone's family sat in her mother's sunny front yard in Floyd County on Tuesday and wondered what else they could have done to keep her ex-husband from killing her.

She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, they said, as the tears rolled. She had a brief marriage to a man known as "Crazy Dave" Slone, a felon with a reputation for anger among some in the community.

She had obtained two emergency protective orders in two years, but dropped them.

"She loved him, but she wasn't in love with him, is what she said," Tonja Slone's mother, Nell Moore, said.

On Monday afternoon, Tonja Slone, 44, was getting her hair done after work at Terri's Beauty Shop in Bevinsville. Her ex-husband, David L. Slone, 51, lived about 100 yards up the road.

He showed up at the beauty parlor, they argued and he left. Then as she left, about 5 p.m., he blocked her van in the driveway and started shooting at her, state trooper Mike Goble said.

David Slone emptied his 9mm pistol. As neighbors looked up, and a beauty parlor employee ran out and tried to help the woman bleeding to death in the driveway, David Slone ran back home.

He returned a few minutes later with a mini-14 rifle and shot Tonja Slone some more, ignoring anyone else begging him to stop.

Police were called. Nell Moore was called. David Slone's children were called.

David Slone went home after the killing. He called his brother-in-law, who lives nearby and who came to talk to him, said Omery Hall, a deputy coroner.

David Slone's son, also named David, said his father wouldn't go back to prison, where he'd served time on a cocaine conviction.

Daughter Cristy Slone said she was on the phone with her father as she raced home from work.

"He said, 'Goodbye and I love you,'" Cristy Slone recalled.

About 20 minutes after the first shots, witnesses said, police arrived at Slone's driveway, where he was standing with the 9mm.

He put the gun to his head behind his ear and killed himself.

Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson said later that investigators found 23 shell casings at the scene where Tonja Slone was killed — eight from the pistol and 15 from the rifle.

David Slone's children and loved ones, who gathered at his home Tuesday, said they didn't understand the shootings.

"It's just not him," Cristy Slone said.

She said the name "Crazy Dave" was just because of his personality, not his behavior. She said his criminal past was behind him.

David Slone was charged in 2003 with his brother, Vernon, and others in a major cocaine ring in Floyd County. David Slone pleaded guilty in federal court in 2004 and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

At the sentencing, a judge recommended David Slone enroll in mental-health counseling and finish getting his General Educational Development certificate, according to a court record.

Slone is on the Kentucky sex-offender registry, convicted of felony third-degree rape for having sex with a 15-year-old.

Tonja and David Slone, who were divorced after a five-month marriage on April 6, 2009, had a troubled relationship, court records show.

They had known each other all their lives, Tonja Slone's family said, but she didn't know of his criminal history before they were married. They started dating shortly after he was released from prison.

Tonja Slone had sought emergency protective orders against David Slone in 2008 and 2009, but she had canceled both, according to Floyd County family court records. A protective order issued Sept. 16 would still have been in effect when the shooting occurred, but it was canceled Oct. 10 at her request.

Asked Tuesday why Tonja Slone canceled the protective order, her sister, mother and other family members shook their heads, looked at one another with tears in their eyes, and said "stupidity."

They had tried to talk her out of the on-and-off relationship.

He tried to control her and "stalked" her, coming to waylay her at the mouth of the hollow where she lived with her mother. Family members went with Tonja Slone to her 10-year-old son's football games because they knew David Slone might show up and harass her. He called her at Parkview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she worked as a certified nurse's assistant, Nell Moore said.

Residents at Parkview loved her, Tonja Slone's boss said Tuesday.

"She had a strong work ethic" and an upbeat attitude, said Parkview administrator Angie Owens.

The latest conflict came about because Tonja Slone was baptized about three months ago, her mother said, and was trying to turn away from her life with David Slone.

He was jealous and angry over any outside relationship she had, even with family, said family members.

David Slone's family said they thought arguments had something to do with Tonja's son, and that Tonja wanted to talk to David about getting her belongings from David's house.

Tonja Slone leaves behind her mother, two sisters, a brother and three children: two adults who were raised by their father in North Carolina, and Joseph, 10, who is living with his grandmother for now.

Tonja Slone saw good in everybody, her family said, and maybe that made her vulnerable.
Nell Moore took comfort in memories of the last day she spent with her daughter.

"Tonja was a good girl. She spent the whole day here Sunday," Moore said. "It was a good day."

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