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Parker County Murder Suspect Says Boyfriend Was Abusive

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Mireya Villarreal
A native Texan, Mireya was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley....
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PARKER COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) - There have been five murders in four months in Parker County. The sheriff says he hasn’t seen anything like this in a while.

The woman charged with the fifth murder spoke from jail about what happened last Friday just outside Springtown, when Richard Graves was shot and killed.

His girlfriend, Roni Lisenbe, sits behind bars for the crime. She claims it was self-defense and never meant for him to die.

Lisenbe describes her relationship with Graves as a twisted fairytale story. The two met on a dating website, Plentyoffish.com, and immediately moved in together. Despite only dating for just three months, she says they’d often fight over him not having a steady job.

“It developed so quickly. We were in love, it was beautiful, he treated me like a princess,” Roni Lisenbe recalls. “And the next thing I know, I’m supporting him. He’s drinking all the time. And he won’t even touch me.”

Lisenbe fully admits she shot  Graves in the stomach last Friday. The two had an argument over him allegedly selling drugs out of her home. When she tried to walk out, she says he came at her.

“I knew he was going to kill me. And I didn’t want to die, not alone on my floor in my house with him standing above me and nobody there to hold my hand. I wasn’t going to die like that,” Lisenbe says.

The 33-year-old tells us Graves had a history of being abusive. She claims he choked her during a fight last month; but never called 9-1-1.

Last Friday was different. This is a portion of the emergency call she made this time:

911 Operator: Sherriff’s Department 911.
Roni Lisenbe: I just killed my boyfriend because he was beating me.
911 Operator: Ok. You just killed your boyfriend?
Roni Lisenbe: He was beating me.

Parker County’s Sheriff doesn’t believe things went down exactly the way Lisenbe says they did; which is why she’s charged with murder. Her bond is set at $100,000.

Detectives aren’t telling us why they don’t believe Lisenbe’s story. But we did some checking and found Graves, the victim, did serve time for assaulting his then wife in 2007.

He leaves behind a 3-year old son.

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