Betty Lasley's friends had been worried about her for years.
Wednesday evening just before sunset, Betty Lasley, 65, was killed by multiple gunshot wounds inside her home at 200 Shaker Mill Bend Road. Her husband, Ernest McKinley Lasley Jr., 72, was charged with murder after admitting to Warren County Sheriff's Detective Brett Kreilein that he killed his wife, according to his arrest citation.
"Through 911 dispatch we believe it's going to be the suspect who called," sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Tim Robinson said at the scene.
Ernest Lasley was taken from the home in handcuffs. Deputies took three small dogs inside the home to a neighbor's house. No one else is believed to have been in the home at the time of the shooting, Robinson said.
"I've been afraid for Betty for some time," family friend Gina Mills said.
"I'm so mad at Mac. She so badly just wanted him to love her. She would do anything for anybody," Mills said.
"We've tried for years. Everybody asked her to not let him come back this time," Mills said. "No man should ever put their hands on a woman in anger. They are meant to be loved, not abused.
"If you are in an abusive relationship, there is help," Mills said.
Deputies had been called to the home in the past, most recently Monday on a domestic disturbance call, Robinson said. At that time, no arrests were made.
Warren Circuit Court Clerk records show that Ernest Lasley was convicted in 2011 of fourth-degree domestic violence assault on Betty Lasley.
On May 2, 2011, a neighbor told a sheriff's deputy that he saw Ernest Lasley chasing Betty Lasley "around the neighborhood threatening to kill her," according to his 2011 arrest citation.
"I was also told that in the past when (Ernest Lasley) gets drunk he is physically and mentally abusive to his wife and has chased her with a gun," the responding deputy wrote in the 2011 citation.
After his 2011 conviction, Ernest Lasley was court-ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and complete anger management/domestic violence classes.
There were no current domestic violence protective orders between the Lasleys.
Ernest Lasley was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Warren District Court, Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron said at the scene.
Betty Lasley was the owner of Betty's Bar on Russellville Road. Sherry Combs, the current leaseholder of the bar business, came to Lasley's home Wednesday night and doubled over crying when the Warren County Coroner's Office brought Lasley's body out of the home.
"She's an amazing woman," Combs said. "She never saw any bad in anyone. She kept a smile on her face."
Betty Lasley was known for having a great sense of humor and being friendly to everyone.
"I love Betty," neighbor Holly Akridge said as she stood outside in the freezing cold watching deputies work around the home. "She would do anything in the world for us."
Ginny Meadows, another neighbor who has known Betty Lasley for about a year and a half, described her as "kindhearted."
"She never met a stranger," Meadows said.
The day Betty talked to Combs about leasing the bar she said to her, "always listen to people and don't judge them because you never know what they're going through." All the while Betty Lasley "was going through pure hell at home herself," Combs said.
The risk of domestic violence homicide is increased by 500 percent when a gun is inside of the home during a domestic violence incident, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"If you know someone who may be experiencing domestic violence, you may want to reach out to them and get them the assistance they need to remove themselves from the situation because they need a support system," Robinson said. "They may feel trapped and helpless."