By Amanda C. Coyne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sept 8, 2017
Vera Tulbure was moving out of the Suwanee home she shared with Jesse Bodie on Aug. 7. She was stabbed 33 times over “almost her entire body” and left to die in a pool of her own blood in her master bedroom, Det. Micah Hegwood said in a Friday afternoon hearing.
Bodie has been charged with murder and aggravated assault in connection with the killing. He told police that he was in a blackout during the stabbing.
He has also been charged with cruelty to children and terroristic threats and acts in connection with an incident on July 28, in which he allegedly held Tulbure and her children, both under age 10, at gunpoint for hours, tying their limbs with Tulbure’s purse handles.
The violent attack was allegedly the end of a tumultuous relationship between Tulbure and Bodie. The Gwinnett County Police Department had “a stack of reports dating back almost nine months,” Hegwood said.
The latest in that stack was an incident that occurred on the evening of July 28. Tulbure and her kids had just arrived home from a movie when Bodie forced his way through the door, held a gun to Tulbure’s head and screamed at the children to shut the door and get into the kitchen, Officer Jonathan Sorenson said in the hearing.
Bodie held them in the kitchen for “hours,” tying the children’s arms with Tulbure’s detachable purse handles and forcing Tulbure to lay on the floor, her arms also restrained, Sorenson said. After Bodie “calmed down,” he handed the gun over to Tulbure’s mother, who later buried it in the yard and did not tell anyone where it was, Sorenson said.
“They thought it was a changing point and they were going to give him another chance,” Hegwood said.
But hours later, Bodie started asking where the gun was. That’s when Tulbure and her mother decided it was time to move out, Haywood said. Tulbure reported the incident about a week later, on Aug. 3, telling Sorenson she waited because she was “afraid what [Bodie] would do” if he found out she contacted the police.
Four days later, on Aug. 7, Tulbure, her family and her sisters’ husbands arrived at the home to move out. They found a backpack with a gun, Bodie’s wallet, passport and travel documents for Tulbure’s family members in the attic, and they saw that the home’s alarm system had been tampered with. They called the police and the alarm company between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.; the police took a report and the alarm company changed the security system so Bodie would not have the correct code, Hegwood said.
Later that day, Tulbure’s sister was in the bathroom when she heard Tulbure scream, Hegwood said.
“From the sound of the scream, she knew someone was hurting [Tulbure],” Hegwood said.
The sister called 911, “screaming frantically” and telling the operator “he’s killing her,” Hegwood said. Two neighbors heard the screams and ran to the house; the master bedroom door was locked, so one of the neighbors kicked it down. Inside, they found Tulbure laying face down and bleeding from multiple stab wounds, Hegwood said.
Tulbure was transported to Gwinnett County Medical Center, where she died during surgery. She was stabbed 12 times in the back, as well as 21 more times in her heart, lungs, head, chin, breast and hands.
When police found Bodie the next day, Bodie claimed Tulbure let him into the house. When they began to argue in her bedroom, Tulbure drew a knife on him and he wrestled it away, he told police. After that, Bodie said he blacked out, and when he regained consciousness, he was covered in blood, holding a knife and climbing out a second story window.
Police later found a knife that had been taken from Tulbure’s kitchen in the woods near the home. The knife was bent, with the tip broken off. Tulbure’s mother had removed all the knives from the home in fear that Bodie would hurt Tulbure, but she told police she believed Bodie had stashed that knife before the others were taken from the home.
A pair of baseball gloves with blood on the inside and outside were later found less than 100 yards from where the knife was found.
Bodie remains in the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond. Bond will be addressed by superior court at a later date, Judge Sandra Fluker said.