By Tobias Salinger..
A Georgia woman charged with killing her daughter-in-law had researched family murder-suicides and wrongful death lawsuits, a detective testified Friday.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Wall, a 63-year-old grandmother, is accused of fatally shooting her son’s estranged wife Jenna Wall inside the 35-year-old kindergarten teacher’s home on June 23. Investigators found web searches by the elder Wall that may have foreshadowed the slaying, Cobb County Detective Shawn Murphy said during a probable cause hearing.
“In her web searches on the cell phone on April 19, she had researched several articles regarding someone killing their family and themselves. She researched wrongful death lawsuits on that day as well, and also the prior day,” Murphy said. He noted she went out and bought the gun later used in the killing on April 19.
A judge allowed the accused grandmother to sit behind a partition shielding her from cameras during the hearing Friday, WXIA-TV reported. Supporters of her daughter-in-law, who investigators have said was pursuing a divorce from her husband and arguing with him over custody of their 7- and 8-year-old sons, packed the courtroom.
Betsy Wall received treatment at a mental health facility for two to three weeks before the killing, her attorney Jimmy Berry told the court. Berry did not seek bond for her from Cobb County jail, where she’s been incarcerated without bond since her arrest.
“There’s no question about who did it,” Berry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “In this case, it’s why it was done. What was her mental state at the time it was done?”
Murphy said Betsy Wall admitted she killed her daughter-in-law but wouldn’t tell investigators why she had done it.
According to the detective’s testimony, she told them, “Just let me die. Leave me alone, just let me die.”
She faces charges of murder, aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. The judge denied a request by the defense to remove the child cruelty charges.