CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - "It's very disturbing to us, and it's very shocking to the conscious of this parish," says Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann.
48-year-old Kimberly Owens lost her life early Wednesday morning when police say her ex-husband 56-year-old Mark Owens attacked her with an ax.
"I thought it was my friend, so I got in my car and I realized what he had in his hand. It was an ax, and I saw what he was doing with it," says a witness.
Police say Mark Owens repeatedly hit Kimberly with the ax in the middle of the street in front of her Chalmette home. Kimberly died before help could arrive.
"You talk about how it affects people. Her mother witnessed this. She heard the screams, tried to help and she saw the attack in progress. She yelled and begged for the attack to stop," says Sheriff Pohlmann.
It wasn't the first time Mark Owens was involved in a domestic incident involving Kimberly.
In 2014, he was detained by police after he allegedly threatened then parish president Dave Peralta. He accused Peralta of having a romantic affair with Kimberly, but Kimberly denied that ever happened.
Then in 2015, Mark Owens was arrested for simple battery and false imprisonment involving Kimberly.
According to the police report, on May 24, 2015 Mark Owens pulled up in front of her residence.
Kimberly stated to police that when she refused to go inside with Mark Owens, he grabbed her by the arm and 'as they walked towards the residence Mark Owens stated no one is leaving here today'.
"At that time, he had brandished a weapon and all indications were her main concern was that he was going to hurt himself," says Sheriff Pohlmann.
According to the report, Mark Owens made several phone calls once inside and told another party, 'Kimberly Owens was free to go if she wished; however she felt that she must stay inside in fear that he may hurt himself'.
After being arrested, Mark Owens spent two days in jail before a Judge released him on a signature bond to an in-patient facility for treatment.
"Shortly after the incident in 2015, a restraining order was taken out and served on Mark Owens," says Sheriff Pohlmann.
The restraining order stated that Kimberly Owens feared for her life.
According to court documents, there were two additional court appearances concerning the 2015 incident and Mark Owens was placed in the diversion program.
Owens was still in that diversion program when he allegedly hid, possibly under Kimberly's house Wednesday morning, and killed her with an ax in front of her home.
The restraining order against him was terminated in December of last year.
Mark Owens is charged with second degree murder and he remains locked up without bond.