A Grayson County Mother Who Lost Her Daughter and Unborn Granddaughter to Domestic Violence Speaks Out this Mother’s Day


Texas Council on Family Violence, Grayson Crisis Center, Grayson County District Attorney, Denison Police Chief & a Mother of a Domestic Violence Victim Team Up to Raise Awareness in the Wake of Recent Domestic Violence Murders

Sherman, TX (May 3, 2016)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is partnering with the Grayson Crisis Center, law enforcement, the Grayson County District Attorney and city leaders to raise awareness about domestic violence and remember all of the mothers out there who were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends and who are not with us to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas. The mothers we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder. We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Tara Woodlee lost her daughter Ashleigh Lindsey of Denison and her unborn grandchild to domestic violence. They were murdered by her ex-boyfriend despite the fact that she moved multiple times and was attempting to come to the Grayson Crisis Center for help days before she was killed.

“I will never forget my daughter’s beautiful face, it was forever ruined. Her face was distorted from the massive swelling, her eyes black and blue. Speckles of blood spot like blisters all over her face. Ashleigh’s right hand was so burnt from trying to block the last shot that it was burned clear down to her elbow. The nurses had to brown bag that hand for evidence. At one point she went Code Blue, and I had to make the painful decision to have her revived. Her dad was with me in the room as they brought Ashleigh back. I made that choice hoping our little Patience could survive. We waited, and then the doctors came in and said, Ashleigh would never recover and there was nothing they could do to save her. We also waited for an

OB/GYN Specialist hoping our precious Ashleigh could be kept on machines long enough to give our unborn granddaughter, Patience Lynn a chance at life. The sonogram revealed her tiny baby heart was failing. Once I knew Patience was truly gone, I was left alone with my daughter,” said Tara Woodlee.


“Our hearts go out to all the mothers and fathers who have lost a child or a grandchild to domestic violence. We are holding this event today, because we want women to know that the most dangerous time for a woman is when she is in the process of leaving a relationship. Domestic violence is about power and control and when the abuser is losing control, it is the time when most women are murdered,” said Rachel Morgan, Executive Director of the Grayson Crisis Center.

“Over the last five months, there have been two multiple domestic violence homicides that left two mothers and four children dead. The two fathers then committed suicide after murdering their wives and children. These are domestic violence homicides,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on family Violence.

Last month, Kelly Russler and her two children were murdered by her husband. The 39-year-old mother and her 7 and 10-year-old children were shot and killed in a domestic violence homicide.

“I believe it is important they are identified as domestic violence homicides so that others in our community who identify abuse in their relationship, or the relationship of someone they love, will know there is help available at the Grayson Crisis Center,” said Rachel Morgan, Executive Director of the Grayson Crisis Center.

Three women are killed every day in America by someone who is supposed to love them. In a national study, 72 percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner. Of those intimate partner murder-suicides, 94 percent were females.

The Texas Council on Family Violence releases a report every year about the women killed by family violence in the state. 132 women were killed by their boyfriend, husband or intimate partner in Texas last year.


After a couple of years of not having any such deaths in Grayson County, Morgan said the county returned to the report last year and will once again be on it this year.

This most recent murder-suicide should be a wake up call to all of us in Grayson County to get involved and help stop domestic violence. If you are in a domestic violence relationship or know someone who is, there are resources available. Please call the Grayson Crisis Center Hotline at 903-893-5615. We are open 24 hours a day-seven days a week. You can also go to our website at http://www.graysoncrisiscenter.org.


Grayson Crisis Center is designated as an emergency shelter by the Health and Human Services Commission- one of only 73 in the entire state of Texas. Located in Sherman, Texas, it is the only shelter for victims of family violence and/or sexual assault in Grayson County. http://www.graysoncrisiscenter.org

Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/