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Mother killed trying to shield 6-month-old; baby survives 13 hours in toilet bowl

Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 12:00:02-04

SMYRNA, Ga. — A Georgia woman’s family said she made the ultimate sacrifice when she managed to shield her 6-month-old baby from her drunken husband last weekend.

Jessica Arrendale, 33, was out with her husband, Antoine Davis, 30, when the former Marine reportedly became “belligerently drunk and abusive” on Saturday night,  according to WSB Radio.

Jessica’s mother, Teresa Inniello, told WSB that the former Iraq War veteran chased his wife upstairs. She tried to fend him off with a baseball bat, but her husband managed to pull the bat from her and she was struck several times.

Jessica Arrendale (SOURCE:  Leslie Tidwell Jordan)

Jessica Arrendale (SOURCE: Leslie Tidwell Jordan)

Later that night, Arrendale reportedly locked herself and her baby daughter inside an upstairs bathroom.

Police said Davis, armed with a rifle, burst through the door and shot Arrendale in the head.

“He shot her and they (police) don’t know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction,” Inniello told WSB.  “She had pure will. She wanted that baby to live.”

When police responded, they were unable to contact anyone inside the townhouse. As a result, a 14-hour standoff ensued.

When they finally made it inside, police found Arrendale shot dead in the bathroom. Her body was partially covering the baby who had been inside the toilet for approximately 13 hours.

Arrendale’s family believes Davis would have also shot the baby, but did not because the child was hidden behind her mother’s body.


Members of the SWAT team carry the baby from the townhome. (SOURCE: WSB-TV)

The baby was treated for hypothermia and is now in DFACS custody.

Davis was discovered in another room dead from a gunshot wound.

Investigators believe Davis shot Arrendale in the head before he then turned the gun on himself.

Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page to help offset the cost of the couple’s funeral and to help pay for the Arrendale’s children’s education.