DANVILLE — The couple who died Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide had been the subject of a number of domestic-violence cases, Boyle County court records show.
In February, a district court judge had denied a written request from Sharon Douglas, in which she asked that her husband, Thomas Douglas, "be able to come to the house/business without any violence toward me. He can visit the home with my permission only when he calls. But he can't stay in the home."
Judge Jeff Dotson denied that request, citing a domestic violence order that would not expire until Feb. 11, 2013.
Police were called to a home on South Fourth Street after a relative discovered the bodies of Sharon and Thomas Douglas, both 49, shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.
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Boyle County Coroner James Ramey said Thomas Douglas was found with a .38-caliber pistol in his hand, and police suspect that Thomas Douglas shot his wife and then himself.
Sharon Douglas ran The Hair Studio on South Fourth Street in Danville, where she lived. Her husband operated Douglas Towing from the same address.
The domestic-violence order was issued by Dotson in February after Sharon Douglas told police that her husband had knocked her to the floor and started hitting her in the mouth.
"He broke two of my front teeth out," she wrote in a domestic violence petition. "I called 911."
A charge of second-degree assault, a felony, against Thomas Douglas was amended to a misdemeanor assault.
In the domestic-violence order, Thomas Douglas was ordered to be evaluated for domestic violence and substance abuse. He was also ordered not to buy, receive or possess a firearm while subject to the order.
Two previous domestic incidents are in Boyle court records.
In March 2008, Sharon Douglas filed a domestic-violence petition in which she wrote that Thomas Douglas had choked her and locked her in a room, and wouldn't let her near a telephone. Later, "he made me go on a run in the rollback truck, still hitting me. I fled from the truck, ran down to Second Street, called 911 to come get me. I hid behind a truck till they got there. I am very scared of him; he is violent. I do fear for my life."
A police report of that case said Thomas Douglas had told Sharon Douglas "that he would kill her if she called police. She had marks on her neck."
Sharon Douglas later asked in open court to have the petition dismissed. A misdemeanor assault charge against Thomas Douglas was amended to harassment, and he paid $338 in fines and court costs.
In July 2008, Sharon Douglas sought another domestic-violence petition.
"I have tried to work it out with Thomas, but time and time again he is violent," she wrote. She wrote that he wanted to fight, "and I wouldn't fight back other than to get him off me. He grabbed me a couple of times and then ripped my T-shirt off me."
Sharon Douglas later asked that that petition be dismissed in open court. She also asked that the terms of a bond under which Thomas Douglas was released from jail should be changed from "no contact" with her to "no violent contact."
She said at the time that she "does not believe the defendant to be dangerous and does not fear the defendant." Judge Dotson amended the bond order as requested in September 2008.
In that case, Thomas Douglas paid $283 in fines and court costs.