Chonda Owens: Arkansas Pastor's Wife Shot Dead In Murder-Suicide Attempt, Police Say
Chonda Owens, 50, was a doting mother of the Arkansas church she was affiliated with, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church-Sandtuck. Her husband, the Rev. 51-year-old Lyndon Jerome Burkett, was well respected in the pews.
Law enforcement officials say Burkett got into an altercation with his wife at the couple's home in Helena-West Helena. Police reportedly received a phone call from the pastor's wife claiming that he had punched her in the head.
Soon, Burkett turned a gun on his wife and shot her dead in the couple's home on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, according to authorities. The couple's two grandchildren, ages 5 and 6, were inside the home during the shooting.
Burkett was air-lifted to a hospital in Memphis with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He is reportedly charged with capital murder, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
A GoGetFunding page set up by the victim's family said this about the incident:
My sister Chonda was murdered by her newly wed husband on December 30, 2017 just after 10 pm. She is survived by her daughter Carlie, and grandchildren Caiah, Cash, Cree, and Caleah. The two eldest grand kids were in the home and awake when this happened. My mother Bonnie, step-dad Irvin, and niece Carlie all live in Memphis,TN where my sister was married, and where her funeral was held. I just drove back home with my partner Sonya to Arizona after spending a week in Memphis at my Mom's house. The whole drive home I felt helpless and I would like to offer more support than I am able right now to my family. My parents are retired, and my niece Carlie is an amazing single mother of four at 27 years old. Carlie owns a small business, but I am very concerned for her future and the future of my great niece and nephew that were in the home when their Grandma was brutally murdered. There will undoubtedly be counseling needed for many in my family. I'm not sure if there will be legal fees or not over my sister's estate.
Anything donated will be given to my mother Bonnie, the family matriarch, to take care of what needs taken care of.. She is devastated at the loss of her only daughter. My mother has always been there for all of us, and I'm praying that she will heal from this deep emotional wound. I'm posting my sister's funeral program in photos here. Please have a look, and learn a little bit about my big sister. I'm clinging to memories of being 3 and Chonda being 9. Whenever there was a thunderstorm I would run down the hall to Chonda's room and sleep next to her because she made me feel safe. I'm hoping that I can help my niece and her kids feel that safety and love Chonda gave me as a little boy. Bless your eyes, and may your days be long!