Defense: Abuse led to girlfriend’s death

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A murder trial stemming from a deadly argument in 2006 opened in a Cobb County court on Wednesday as attorneys and prosecutors squared off in their opening arguments.

At issues is whether Natasha Demery shot and killed her girlfriend, Alisha Florine Lea, in anger in an early-morning argument or if she reacted to months of physical and emotional abuse.

Both attorneys outlined an often acrimonious, antagonistic and vindictive relationship between Demery, an exotic dancer, and Lea.

According to both lawyers, Demery called 911 several hours after a deadly argument with Lea on Dec. 2, 2006. She turned herself into a Cobb County police precinct at the same time officers were arriving at her apartment.

The dispute started because Demery had been drinking and was flirting with a co-worker when Lea drove up at 4 a.m. to take Demery home at the end of her shift at Pin Ups Nightclub in Decatur.

It soon spread to other issues once they got home, the lawyers said. It ended with Demery shooting Lea in the head with her own gun.

Demery has been jailed since her arrest in 2006, unable to afford a $250,000 bond and losing repeated arguments with a judge to have it reduced.

Investigators said Ms. Demery and Ms. Lea were involved in a fight around 6 a.m. Dec. 7, 2006, at Cobblestone Apartments on Pat Mell Road just off S. Cobb Drive.

According to the arrest warrant, Ms. Demery is accused of shooting Ms. Lea with a handgun while pointing the gun at the back of her head and threatening to open fire.

Police said Ms. Demery called 911 several hours later to report a shooting.

Cobb police officers responded to the call and found Ms. Lea dead in the rear bedroom of the apartment with a gunshot wound, a police report stated.


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