Local News

Johnston County couple killed in murder-suicide

Posted November 23, 2015 11:35 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2015 11:00 p.m. EST

— A Clayton couple died Monday night in a murder-suicide, according to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

According to investigators, Michael Summers and his wife, Jennifer, got into an argument at about 7:15 p.m. at their home at 119 Bentley Way.

Michael Summers, 46, shot and killed his wife before shooting himself, investigators said.

The couple's two sons, ages 16 and 11, left the home during the argument and called 911.

Investigators said Jennifer Summers filed a restraining order against Michael Summers in May after the couple had a violent confrontation, an order that was later dismissed.

Jennifer Summers said in the restraining order that Michael Summers used "full force" on her cheek in front of their children and that he was a lifelong hunter who kept riles and a handgun in the home.

Michael Summers filed for custody of their children nine days later, according to court documents.

"One of the biggest tactics that we are seeing increasingly is the threat of custody," Wilma Hampton of Harbor Inc. said.

Hampton said Harbor Inc, a domestic violence agency, is contacted by the court when someone files a restraining order.

"One of the advocates will go over there and meet with the individual find out what's going on in their case," said Wilma Hampton of Harbor Inc.

Hampton said men threatening child custody is often a tactic used to control women.

"Whoever the abuser may be will hire an attorney and sue for custody, which more or less forces them into a corner," she said. "Often times they might withdraw the restraining order dismiss it to try and hold on to their child."