PETALUMA (CBS SF) — Petaluma police have released details about five previous reports of domestic disturbances involving the estranged Petaluma couple who died in a murder-suicide outside a divorce attorney’s office on Sunday.
Kevin Conover, 41, shot Kimberly Conover, 43, after she left attorney Jeff Zimmerman’s office at 10 Keller St. in Petaluma around 2 p.m. Sunday. Conover then shot and killed himself, according to police.
Kimberly Conover, a second-grade teacher at Meadow Elementary School in Petaluma’s Waugh School District, had sought an emergency protective order against her estranged husband Kevin a week before the murder-suicide, Lt. Tim Lyons said.
She had called police at 12:45 p.m. on April 9 to inform them she was coming to the police station, Lyons said.
When she arrived at the station at 2:54 p.m., she told police her husband had assaulted her that morning, and she requested an emergency protective order, Lyons said.
A police officer then interviewed Kevin Conover at his Searles Way home and he denied committing an assault, Lyons said.
A Petaluma police officer, however, requested an emergency protective order by phone from Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Virginia Marcoida, Presiding Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Auguste Chouteau said this morning.
Chouteau said Marcoida denied the protective order. He said he does not know specifically why it was denied, but that the incident apparently did not “present immediate or present danger of domestic violence.” Marcoida was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Police officers routinely make phone requests for emergency protective orders on behalf of parties involved in domestic violence incidents from a judge who is on call, Chouteau said.
The judge can issue the order if there is reason to believe an immediate danger of domestic violence exists, according to section 6251 of the California Family Code.
If granted, an emergency protective order remains in effect for five days, allowing time for the party who requested it to then seek a temporary restraining order, Chouteau said.
On Jan. 30, 2012, Kimberly’s 15-year-old daughter called Petaluma police, saying her father had pushed her; Kevin Conover told police teen had kicked him, Lyons said. Kimberly Conover was present but was not involved in the dispute and no arrests were made, Lyons said.
Kevin Conover called police on Oct. 23, 2011, to report that Kimberly had assaulted him, Lyons said. A police officer determined that no criminal assault had occurred. No one was arrested and Kevin agreed to leave the residence for the day, Lyons said.
On June 2, 2011, Kimberly Conover called police to report that her husband had grabbed her, and a police officer obtained an emergency protective order against Kevin, Lyons said.
Kimberly called police back later that day and said she did not want Kevin arrested or prosecuted, Lyons said.
“She changed her story and said an assault did not take place and that there were no prior incidents of domestic violence,” Lyons said.
Police sent the report of the incident to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office for review but no charges were filed, Lyons said.
On April 12, 2011, Kimberly called police to report that she and Kevin had argued about the children, a computer and other issues, Lyons said.
There was no physical assault, but Kimberly told police there had been previous, unreported physical assaults, which Kevin denied, Lyons said.
“No report was made and there was no determination of a crime,” Lyons said.
The couple agreed to spend the rest of the day in separate areas of the home, Lyons said.
Sonoma County court records show that Kimberly filed for legal separation on June 3, 2011, but withdrew the petition for separation on July 14, 2011. It was dismissed without prejudice.
Kimberly then filed for divorce on March 5, 2012. On March 6, she filed a request in court for a temporary restraining order against Kevin, claiming Kevin was “violent, assaultive, unpredictable” and “uses firearms and knives.” She said she and her children were afraid of her husband.
At a hearing on March 27, at attorney Zimmerman’s request, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge James Bertoli dismissed the restraining order request without prejudice “for lack of prosecution.”
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