Domestic violence history in Tehama murder-suicide


DAIRYVILLE, Calif. - A Tehama County mother of six is dead after an incident early Sunday morning where her husband appears to have shot her and then himself at the couple's Dairyville home.

The Tehama County Sheriff's Office said 34-year-old Justin Sides called 911 operators around 4:15 Sunday morning, saying he had just shot his wife and intended to shoot himself.

Deputies arrived to the home one Electric Avenue off of Highway 99 to find 31-year-old Jenilee Sides, Justin's wife of more than a dozen years, with a gunshot wound to her abdomen. She soon died from her injuries.

Sheriff's deputies, Red Bluff and Corning police and CHP officers surrounded the home. Justin Sides was found in a field north of the home, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Neighbor Jerry van Dyke has lived near the Sides for about five years and said Justin appeared to be a typical hard working guy.

"He never caused any problems or anything," van Dyke said. "I just can't believe it, it really happened."

Van Dyke admits he didn't know the family well, only saying the children, ages two to 15, seemed to be well-behaved as they walked past his home and even engaged him in conversation.

All six of the children were removed from the home and the Sheriff's Office reports that none of the children witnessed the incident.

Van Dyke said the incident appeared to come out of nowhere.

"It's just awful funny, all at once, bam, this happened."

But the Tehama County Sheriff's Office suggests it didn't happen "all at once." In fact, Jenilee Sides filed a temporary restraining order against Justin back in 2001.

Jeanne Spurr, executive director of Alternative to Violence, a domestic violence services group based in Red Bluff, said temporary restraining orders in domestic violence cases are often allowed to lapse instead of being renewed or made permanent.

"A lot of the time it's just because people want to believe things are getting better," Spurr said. "We never know which situations are going to escalate to be lethal. It's just very difficult to come to the realization that someone you love that may be the father of your child could be so violent."

Spurr said often when victims realize they are in denial or trapped in an abusive relationship it's too late.

"The statistics say it takes someone seven to eight times, they will try to leave a relationship before they are either successful in leaving or they are killed."

More information for domestic violence victims and family and friends of victims can be found on Alternative to Violence's website.

Jenilee's grandfather, Louie, said at the Sides home Monday that Justin was a "good man." He also called him a hard worker and suggested the two didn't have worse problems than an average married couple.

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