Tacoma woman's suicide letter blames ex-husband, his sister

Staff writerSeptember 24, 2013 

In the letter — the last she’d ever write — she laid the blame.

A 51-year-old Tacoma woman described how her ex-husband, Gregory Bonds, and former sister-in-law, Betty Bonds, tormented her, court records show.

She killed herself as a result, Pierce County prosecutors believe.

Gregory Bonds, 53, is charged with two counts of felony harassment, violating a court order and first-degree burglary. It would be his third strike if he is convicted of the burglary charge, and he would face life in prison without the possibility of release. He has pleaded not guilty.

Betty Bonds, 63, was charged last week with tampering with a witness. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Court records indicate the violence started at least as far back as September 2006 when Gregory Bonds attacked his wife during an argument. He tried to choke her and shoved a gun in her mouth before police arrived.

They had been married eight years at that point.

He was convicted of second-degree assault and felony harassment, and sentenced to eight years in prison in the case.

The victim was granted a no-contact order against Gregory Bonds in June 2007 after describing him as “a very violent man” who used drugs. She filed for divorce in April 2009 while he was still serving time for attacking her.

Her nightmare started again May 19 when Gregory Bonds allegedly forced his way into her Tacoma home and assaulted her in front of her daughter and grandchildren, court records show. The woman’s daughter managed to run for help while the woman hid in her closet.

She “cried and appeared terrified,” court records show. “She repeatedly told police the defendant is going to kill her.”

Prosecutors said he likely went to her house that night as retaliation for her testifying against him in the earlier domestic-violence case.

Police arrested him June 5.

He immediately began calling family members from jail and telling them to intimidate his ex-wife into writing a letter saying she didn’t want him charged with burglary, court records show. The Prosecutor’s Office received such a notarized letter June 10. In the six-sentence note, the woman wrote that her door was open when her ex-husband came inside and she didn’t want to press charges.

Recorded telephone calls between Gregory and Betty Bonds detailed the sister’s visit to the victim to force her to write the letter, according to court records. The siblings also allegedly discussed the sister’s plan to return to the woman’s home in hopes of forcing her to further change her story by saying she was stressed out and made it up.

The woman, whose family could not be reached for comment, committed suicide June 13.

“She left a note blaming Gregory Bonds and the defendant,” said charging documents filed against Betty Bonds.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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