A New Orleans is accused of fatally shooting his wife of 12 years, leaving friends and family grasping for clues about how a “marital spat” could have turned so deadly.
Ray Farria Jr., 32, was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder after allegedly shooting his wife, Dominique Farria, 31, through the windshield of her car as she attempted to flee, police said.
Farria, who had been riding on the hood of the car for about a quarter of a mile in an apparent bid to stop his wife from driving off, clambered off the vehicle and fired the fatal shot through his wife’s neck while the couple’s children were in the car, relatives told the Times-Picayune.
Dominique Farria clung to life long enough to get to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save her, police told Oxygen.com. Ray Farria is being held on $500,000 bail at Jefferson Parish Jail on charges of second-degree murder, possession of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice, records show.
His mother told the Times-Picayune that Farria is on suicide watch.
The murder came as a shock to friends and family of the couple, who described them as high-school sweethearts who had been married for 12 years.
"Those two were inseparable. That's why this hurts," Szerret Farria, Ray Farria's mother, told the Times-Picayune. "I don't know why this happened."
The couple had been together since their time at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, and had been through thick and thin, including being displaced from the city after Hurricane Katrina and living for a time in Dallas, Tex., before eventually resettling back in New Orleans when Ray Farria couldn’t find work in Texas, relatives told the Times-Picayune.
Together, the couple were raising four children — three sons and one daughter — ranging in age from 1 to 11, and the children were staying with family as of Wednesday, according to the newspaper.
Dominique Farria’s aunt, Linda Garrus, 53, recalled her niece as a devoted mother, according to the Times-Picayune.
"Why would you take this woman away from her kids? Now, they don't have a mother or a father," she told the newspaper.
But Ray Farria also had a history of violence, and at the time of his arrest he was a fugitive from justice on a three-year-old warrant issued by a New Orleans judge after Farria skipped bail on a domestic assault charge, according to the Advance.
Three years ago, Farria was arrested for allegedly strangling Dominique after she went through his phone, the Advance reported. He was arrested at the time, and released on bail, but he failed to show up to his next hearing, the Advance reported.
The incident stood out because police got involved, thanks to the intervention of a woman who described herself as Dominique Farria’s god-sister, who called 911 as Ray Farria allegedly was choking his wife, the Advance reported. But according to family members who spoke with the Advance, Ray Farria frequently beat his wife, and for three years managed to evade the warrant for his arrest.
[Photo: Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office]