Husband in Murder-Suicide Had a Violent Past

Article excerpt

Byline: Deborah Donovan

Roger D. James shot his wife, Angelita James, multiple times with a shotgun and then turned the gun on himself, Arlington Heights police said Thursday after autopsies confirmed that the couple's weekend slayings were a result of a murder-suicide.

Officers conducting a well-being check requested by Angelita James' son found the couple dead Wednesday morning in their East Shady Way home. The Cook County medical examiner's office said Thursday both died from gunshot wounds. One of the shots suffered by Angelita James was in the face, said Arlington Heights police Sgt. Richard Kappelman.

Police believe the shootings occurred relatively close together early Sunday morning, though various witness reports indicated loud noises were heard from the residence late Saturday. Separate people reported seeing the couple Saturday, and a family member reported receiving a phone call from Roger James early Sunday morning, Kappelman said.

No one called authorities to report gunshots, police said.

"We've done at least three canvasses so far trying to locate additional witnesses." said Kappelman. "I would think a shotgun would be a distinct noise, but people said 'I don't know if I heard anything' or 'I thought I heard shouting.' We are having a hard time sorting through it." Kappelman said the department has run three records checks, but found no reports of police being called to the home on previous occasions.

Angelita James' son, Efren Galvan of Schaumburg, met police at the residence Wednesday morning, telling officers his mother had not shown up for work for the previous two days and couldn't be reached. The vehicles of both Angelita, 56, and Roger James, 48, were parked outside the home, police said.

Cook County court records show Roger James had a long history of domestic violence, dating back to a 1999 arrest on allegations he choked and pushed another woman with whom he'd been living in Des Plaines. James, records show, was sentenced to 30 days in the Cook County jail and probation for misdemeanor domestic battery and battery in that case. …