BCSO: woman shoots, kills boyfriend

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An arrest has been made in the death of a Bowie County man on May 24. 

Investigators say Tonya Barnett was interviewed by Tuesday, June 5, after new information pertaining to this case was brought to light. During this course of this interview, deputies say Barnett changed her version of events from the original information she had provided investigators with.

The details she gave led to her being arrested for Manslaughter. She was booked into the Bi-State Jail and her bond was set at $20,000.00 by Judge Al Smith.

Story from 05/24/18:

Bowie County Sheriff’s Officials say Around 5:29 Thursday morning, they received a 911 call from a distraught female saying she was being assaulted and she had just shot him.

Bowie County deputies dispatched to the shooting found a deceased male lying on the floor of the home when they arrived. Deputies spoke with the female caller, Tonya Barnett, who was still at this residence in the 100 block of Parkway.

Barnett told deputies the deceased male was her boyfriend Cecil Ellis Jr. According to Barnett, Ellis choked her to the point that she passed out while he was assaulting her. She said she picked up a handgun to protect herself when she regained consciousness.

According to Barnett, Ellis continued his assault on her and was shot during the confrontation. Deputies say it was obvious that Ellis had succumbed to his injuries prior to their arrival.

Judge Nancy Talley ordered Ellis’ body be sent off for an autopsy. The results of this autopsy are pending.

Barnett sought medical evaluation and treatment for injuries she received during this assault. She was treated and released by a doctor. Officials say Barnett has been fully cooperative with investigators during this investigation. No arrests have been made.  Investigators say Barnett’s statement to them indicates this could be a case of self-defense.

The investigation into Ellis’ death is active and ongoing.

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