View Full Version : Tae Kwon Do teacher in apparent murder-suicide

5/12/2009 12:00pm,
Boynton Beach man in apparent murder-suicide taught children martial arts in Lake Worth

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A man who authorities said shot and killed his estranged wife and then fatally shot himself on Saturday was a popular martial arts instructor who often dealt with children, according to past interviews and public records.

Russell Antoine Dillard, 47, of suburban Boynton Beach was an instructor at Pil-Sung Tae Kwon Do Academy in Lake Worth.

About 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Dillard confronted his wife, Sarah Covington Crews, 33, at a friend's suburban Boynton Beach house at 3750 N. Seacrest Blvd., where she had moved to escape Dillard.

He shot her dead, said Deputy Eric Davis, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Dillard then went back to his house, at 3800 N. Seacrest Blvd., barricaded himself inside and apparently shot himself to death before a SWAT team could intervene, Davis said.

Dillard, a black belt who won a gold medal in the sparring category at the Amateur Athletic Union state championships in 2006, never had been arrested in Florida, state records show.

For her part, Crews, who would attend Dillard's martial arts demonstrations, had fled a violent relationship at least once before.

Court records show she sought a judge's protection from a violent husband in April 2005 before she divorced him five months later.

While married to the same man, Crews was arrested on a child abuse charge after Riviera Beach police accused her of shaving her daughter's head after her husband beat the girl with a belt.

At the time, Crews had four children - three girls and a boy.

A judge opted to withhold adjudication in Crews' case, records show.

Nothing in court records hinted that Crews, who married Dillard in September 2007, was having problems in her marriage, although sheriff's deputies recently had been called to Dillard's house after the couple had an argument, police said.

Authorities said the couple had split up about six months ago.

After Dillard barricaded himself in his house, swarming police startled his neighborhood on an otherwise quiet Saturday afternoon.

Percy Helton, who lives at 3850 Seacrest Blvd., had meatloaf in the oven and meatballs on the stove Saturday afternoon when sheriff's deputies knocked on his door and made him and his neighbors move to the parking lot of Sam's Club, about half a mile north.

Helton persuaded deputies to let him go back to his house long enough to turn off the stove. But he and other neighbors along the four-lane stretch of Seacrest Boulevard were displaced for about three hours while SWAT team members worked outside the pumpkin-colored house where Dillard's body was found.

Francisco Baltazar took his 5-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter shopping after deputies knocked on his door and told him to evacuate the house.

"I was scared to death," said Mary Dupuis, who lives next door to the house at 3750 Seacrest Blvd. where Crews was shot. "The whole road was filled with police cars and trucks."

Dupuis said deputies broke holes in the wooden fence separating her yard from her neighbor's.

"Every time I tried to come out I was told to get in my house," Dupuis said. "I'm just glad it's over."

5/12/2009 12:25pm,
That's all kinds of sad.

Domestic violence follows easily recognizable patterns of behavior for all involved, and this one fits to a T.