Family struggles with burial after victim’s wife allegedly kills Memphis man on New Year’s Day

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 5:04 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The family of a man who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife on New Year’s Day is pleading for help.

Family members say they are now struggling to pay for a burial since the insurance policy is in the suspect’s name.

Catonya Smith, 36, is locked up in Jail East facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of her husband, Jermaine Smith.

“Those two were like peanut butter and jelly. I kid you not, like you didn’t see one without seeing the other,” said Jermaine Smith’s sister Daphne Smith.

Smith says her brother and his wife’s love story wasn’t perfect.

Court documents show at least two previous incidents of domestic violence dating back to 2011.

”Actually it was something we spoke to both of them about sometime individually and sometimes together,” said Daphne Smith.

On New Year’s Day, a fight between the two turned deadly.

Monday, police were called to the area of Peabody Avenue and East Street where Jermaine Smith was found with a stab wound.

Officers say Smith’s wife told them the red stains on the wall and floor were tomato sauce from a meatloaf.

According to the affidavit, witnesses heard Smith threaten to kill her husband earlier in the evening.

Experts say domestic violence where men are the victims often goes unnoticed.

“Many men, first of all, don’t report because they are men and they think about their ego and what will people think,” said Marquiepta Odom-Williams, executive director of YWCA of Greater Memphis.

Odom-Williams says it’s important to leave as soon as you see the red flags.

“The same red flags that I often say when I’m talking to teens or women and that is watch their behavior. How quickly do they become angry? Do they go from zero to ten with their anger?” said Odom-Williams.

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 men experience domestic violence or stalking in their lifetime.

The consequences of that anger left Jermaine Smith’s family in a predicament.

The family says they don’t have access to the insurance because Jermaine Smith’s wife set up the policy and they don’t have access to the funds.

If you can help, please send money directly to Justin Ford Funeral Home at 5359 Knight Arnold Road in Memphis.

Or you can send money by clicking here.

Also, if you are a victim of Domestic Violence call the 24-hour crisis line at 901-800-6064.

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