Elizabeth Brown Wall took her grandsons, ages 7 and 8, to her car. Then, she called her son at work and told him to come and get his boys. Next, she went back inside the house and shot and killed Jenna Wall, her son’s estranged wife, according to Cobb County police.
The children did not see their mother killed, but they heard the shots that killed her, police said.
Though investigators didn’t release a possible motive in the killing, court documents filed by Jenna Wall’s husband asserted that she had had an affair with her high school boyfriend. The couple was in the process of divorcing.
Elizabeth Wall, 63, was charged on Thursday with felony murder and other offenses in the death of her daughter-in-law. Police said she shot Jenna Wall, 35, in the kitchen of Jenna’s home — in the same Cobb County community in which the younger woman grew up. Jenna died before help could arrive, police said.
The former Jenna Charlton and Jerrod Lyle Wall were married July 17, 2004, bought a house in Paulding County and three years later welcomed the first of two sons. In 2009, the Walls’ younger son was born.
Jerrod worked as a deputy for the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office before later moving to the District Attorney’s Office as an investigator, while Jenna had a career in sales and management. A University of Georgia graduate with a degree in sociology and psychology, she later returned to Mercer University to complete a teaching certificate.
After teaching at Vaughan and Frey elementary schools, Jenna was hired as kindergarten teacher at Kemp Elementary, less than five miles from her parents’ home near Powder Springs.
“My passion has also been working with children,” she wrote on her school blog.
Pictures on the blog showed a happy mother with two smiling boys, who she called the “most precious gifts from God.” Nowhere on the school website was there a mention of her husband.
By the time the most recent school year had started, the Walls had separated and Jenna had filed for divorce. She and her children had moved into her parents’ Wyndham Woods Drive home, off Antioch Road. In April, Jerrod Wall filed a counterclaim for divorce in Paulding County Superior Court, alleging his wife had been unfaithful.
Jenna, according to her husband, had an affair with her high school boyfriend after the two began communicating through social media in 2013. The following year, she met in person with the man and communicated with him several times a day through text messages, email and social media, sometimes while at work, according to Jerrod.
His wife was romantically involved with another man while still married, Jerrod said. And at one point, her boys had been exposed to a “romantic interlude,” he contended. Jerrod was seeking primary custody of the boys and claimed that Jenna interfered with his relationship with his sons.
But late Thursday morning, everything changed. Jerrod’s mom called him at work and told him to pick up his boys, but she didn’t answer when he called her back, according to police.
“While en route, Jerrod Wall spoke with his older child on the phone, who informed him that said accused and Jenna Wall were in the house and he had heard gunshots,” Elizabeth Wall’s warrant states.
When Jerrod arrived at the Wyndham Woods Drive home, his estranged wife was dead in the kitchen, and his mother was sitting in the living room, pointing a handgun at her head, police said. Wall was arrested at the home and booked into the Cobb jail.
In addition to the murder charge, Elizabeth Wall was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony and third-degree cruelty to children, according to police. She was denied bond at her first court appearance Friday morning.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.