published Friday, September 9th, 2011

Chattanooga woman charged in husband’s death

This house at the intersection of 13th Avenue and East 31st Street was the scene of a homicide late Wednesday. Regina Copeland Roshell, 32, has been charged in the shooting death of her husband, 31-year-old Demetrius D. Roshell.
This house at the intersection of 13th Avenue and East 31st Street was the scene of a homicide late Wednesday. Regina Copeland Roshell, 32, has been charged in the shooting death of her husband, 31-year-old Demetrius D. Roshell.
Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
3020 13th Ave.
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A single shot fired Wednesday night during a couple’s heated argument left a husband dead and several children without a father.

Regina R. Copeland Roshell, 32, faces a charge of criminal homicide. She told Chattanooga Police homicide detectives she accidentally shot her husband, Demetrius D. Roshell, with a .357 Magnum revolver, according to an arrest report.

The couple was married in January and had an infant son.

They lived in a small, gray frame house at 3020 13th Ave. with a new porch at the back and a well-kept yard. Neighbors remember the family barbecuing in a grill at the front of the house. The couple held hands, neighbors said.

Demetrius Roshell would unload the grocery bags for his wife from the black Kia Optima she had marked with a Mary Kay cosmetics sticker advertising her position as a makeup consultant.

“This is what he always wanted,” said Rodney Wadley, 30, who attended high school with the couple, gesturing towards the home where a strip of crime scene tape lay nearby. “This what he had after growing up in the projects. I still can’t believe it.”

But behind the happy facade neighbors saw, there was trouble at times.

Police had gone to the home in 2010 for a domestic incident, according to officers. No one was arrested but Roshell was asked to leave.

There were no orders of protection filed in Hamilton County Circuit or Chancery Court. Neither had a violent arrest record in Tennessee, according to TBI records.

Roshell’s divorce from his first wife was finalized in June 2010. While he shared no children with her, he had children from another relationship.

On Thursday, a woman pulled up in a car with three children in tow. Two lanky boys piled out of the car and stared at the house. They shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.

“They just wanted to see if their daddy’s truck was still here,” said their mother, who said Roshell was the boys’ father. She wouldn’t give her name, but ordered the boys to get back in the vehicle and left.

Wadley said the couple met in junior high school and attended Howard School of Academics and Technology.

When asked about the couple’s relationship, Wadley said, “He [Roshell] was always an optimist.”

On Facebook, Copeland Roshell’s relationship status wasn’t publicly displayed. Roshell had his listed as, “It’s complicated.”

Copeland Roshell’s two children from a previous relationship, ages 7 and 13, lived with the couple. Those two and the infant were asleep when the gunshot rang out inside the bedroom.

When police arrived, Roshell was lying unresponsive on the floor with blood coming from the left side of his face.

Investigators said the argument began with Copeland Roshell sitting in a vehicle. She told police that after words were exchanged, Roshell pulled her out of the vehicle and into the house, where the argument continued in the living room.

Copeland Roshell had gone for the gun in the bedroom, and she ordered her husband out of the house when she fired the shot, according to the report.

The revolver was licensed to Roshell, who had a carry permit.

Copeland Roshell remains at Silverdale Corrections Detention Facility on a $30,000 bond. Her next court date is scheduled for Monday before General Sessions Court Judge David Bales.

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