Couple sets the record straight

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With guns drawn and shields raised, the Lake Charles Police SWAT team responded to a home in the 2600 block of General Patton Street on the morning of October 30th.

"Well it was verbal argument at first, then one thing led to another and we started fighting," explained Jerald Labbe.

Jerald and Tosha Labbe admit they've had their share of problems but this time was different.

"I hit her first and she was trying to defend herself," said Jerald.

That's when they took things outside and Tosha retrieved a loaded gun from the truck.

"I didn't know how to use it. So I just remember when I grabbed it - it went off you know what I'm saying. It went off, the gun went off," said Tosha.

Jerald went back in the house as Tosha stayed outside. Meanwhile the mailman comes around the corner. "I still had the gun in my hand and I told the mailman - 'Hey please call the police,' because I didn't have access to a phone. I was waving the gun over my head saying he's fighting me," said Tosha.

The cops show up with information of a woman waiving a gun, but Tosha's no where to be found. She had walked down the street to cool down while Jerald had fallen asleep inside.

"I'm a deep sleeper," said Jerald. "They were out there for like an hour or so and I didn't know that they were out there. I didn't know that anyone had called the police... So when they finally came in the house they were like are you alright? I told them I was alright - they woke me up with a gun in my face."

Some time later Tosha gets back to the house. "Then it just went from bad to worse," said Tosha. "They told me I had no visible, that's what really upset me, they told me I had no visible signs of a domestic disturbance so I was going to jail."

Charged with attempted second degree murder, Jerald would eventually bond her out. While she's now fighting the charges, Tosha maintains she was abused and has a message for other women: "If a woman is abused in any way, she shouldn't be afraid to call the police because she didn't have visible scars."

While they're now attending counseling for the sake of their marriage and five children, both say they crossed the line. "You're not a man if you have to put your hand on a woman," said Jerald.

But perhaps they biggest lesson is the one they've learned from each other.

"We are working this out to love each other and take one day at a time like we've been doing."

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)