A 19-year-old man from Tacoma, Washington, is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend’s mother to death in front of her 5-year-old daughter on Jan. 18.
The teen’s mother, Teresa Ryan, 46, reportedly told Austin Richard Moores Nelson to stay away from her 15-year-old daughter in September after learning of their sexual relationship, WTTE reports.
A few months later, and approximately 10 days before the shooting, the teenage girl broke up with Moores Nelson, stating she did not want to keep lying to her mother, court documents note.
"The breakup was not being handled well by the suspect," said Sgt. Jerry Bates of Pierce County Sheriff's Office.
After they found Teresa's body, “Deputies went into the Ryan home and found a dead dog in a pool of blood and the rear slider door window shattered …There was evidence of five gunshots in the house,” court documents state.
"It appears he might be a suspect in some previous incidents at the house -- vandalism, vehicle widows being broken -- that's all something we are going to be checking into,” Bates said.
Moores Nelson appears to have a violent past.
In 2012, former girlfriend Kammie McCauley accused Moores Nelson of threatening to kill her. He allegedly kidnapped her at one point.
"He asked me what I'd do if he came up behind me and slit my throat," McCauley told WTTE. "He threatened me by saying he's going to shoot me. He'd say if he can't have me, nobody can, and that he'd kill me if I left him."
Neighbors were shocked by the revelations.
"That was a really surprise for us to hear something like that from him," said neighbor Lyn Hoaas. "I just couldn't believe it. He's always been a good boy."
Moores Nelson is being held in lieu of $2 million bail. He pleaded not guilty Jan.19 to charges of first-degree murder and assault.
"Teresa was a wonderful person," said Mark Tyler, Teresa’s uncle, told KING-TV. “Her family and friends hope that justice will be served."