Hixson murder-suicide suspect had history of mental illness

Hixson murder-suicide suspect had history of mental illness

May 15th, 2015 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

3040 Stage Run Drive

35.135847, -85.214195
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The man who apparently killed his girlfriend and then shot himself in their Hixson home on May 8 had a history of mental illness, according to medical and police records. 

Marcus Slattery, 44, suffered from bipolar disorder, records show. Slattery apparently killed his girlfriend, Deborah Steele, 58, and then shot himself in the head in their home at 3040 Stage Run Road. 

Chattanooga police investigators initially believed that Slattery shot Steele, but the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's report concluded that the woman was stabbed in the neck and her throat was slit.

Police called the incident an apparent murder-suicide. Those findings are supported by the medical examiner's report, which classifies Steel's death as a homicide and Slattery's as a suicide. 

Chattanooga police investigate a crime at 3040 Stage Run Drive.

Chattanooga police investigate a crime at 3040 Stage...

Photo by Will Healey /Times Free Press.

Steele and Slattery were found dead inside their home after a third party called police and asked for a well-being check on the couple. Police have not identified the caller. 

Investigators found Steele lying in a bed in one of the home's bedrooms, according to the report, while Slattery was found in the living room. Officers also found the couple's English bulldog dead in a living room chair, apparently shot in the head. 

Police found multiple firearms and knives at the scene. The weapons are still being processed, according to police.

Both Slattery and Steele were registered nurses, according to state records. Steele was licensed in 1983 and Slattery was licensed in 1992.

Slattery formerly worked as a nurse in the crisis stabilization unit at Volunteer Behavioral Health on Chattanooga's North Shore. The unit is designed to provide care to patients who are experiencing a severe mental health crisis, according to Volunteer's website.

Slattery held that job for six years and left in 2009, according to Volunteer.

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