LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A WINK News Exclusive. A woman says she's not surprised her ex-husband is accused of murdering and torching his elderly father.
Tonight she's telling Rachael Rafanelli what she told police, several times before the brutal attack that left a 91-year-old man dead.
She says what started out as a happy relationship full of promise quickly turned into a nightmare that she couldn't escape. And she says the entire time she saw warning signs.
To protect her identity and that of their children's we are not showing her face.
"No one would listen to our side of the whole story or get it. What we're trying to tell you how dangerous he is," she said.
Leroy Taylor JR's ex-wife tells only WINK News she always believed he was capable of murder. The couple met in the 80s and married in the 90s. They have two children together.
She says when Hurricane Charley hit, the storm wiped out his business. They moved into his father's Cape Coral home but says the drinking and violence got worse.
She says his father, Leroy Taylor SR did nothing to stop it. "He would hear him yelling or hitting on me, and not do anything, he would sit in the other room," she said.
Court records show JT, as she calls him, was arrested several times for domestic violence and drugs.
The two got divorced, but Taylor's ex-wife says JT used his father's money to try and get visitation rights. The children wrote letters saying they lived in fear of their own father.
"I think family court the judges and all the lawyers should have put a red flag up, here's a woman sitting here with a lifetime order of protection, and this man is in court trying to come back into a life he shouldn't be back into," she said.
During all of this she says, JT never got a job but relied on his father's military pension.
Then, this July Leroy Taylor SR was killed and his son was no where to be found. "He was murdered over money," she said.
Police found the man's body in the bedroom inside the house they once shared. He was brutally beaten, and the body was covered in gasoline "He was still on the run and the Cape Coral detective told me to watch my back. That was pretty terrifying," she said.
Days after the murder, police found JT inside his father's home. "A big sense of relief that he's finally out of our life and we can move on," she said.