Long romance ends in savage violence
Damos Carter heard nothing from the long-vacant mobile home about 100 feet from his own mobile home on Willard's Lane in Alexander County on the morning of Feb. 3, when investigators say Lisa Jacobs Berry, 41, of Lenoir was beaten and kicked into unconsciousness.
Deputies arrived to find her lying bloody on the floor, suffering from severe head injuries. They arrested her boyfriend, 42-year-old Jerry Walter Teague Jr.
"It shook me," said Carter, who has known Teague since 1999. "I didn't even know they were in the trailer."
Teague and Berry had been dating for a couple of years, according to Teague's father, Jerry Teague Sr. She first had been living at 3394 Laws St. in Gamewell and later moved in with Teague Jr. at 119 Calvary Place in Lenoir. They planned to move in the spring into the mobile home in the Ellendale community of western Alexander County, where Teague, known to his friends and family as "Stinkie," had family. Jerry Teague Sr. lives there on Melvin Teague Lane, about a quarter mile from the mobile home where his son and Berry intended to live.
On Feb. 2, Teague Sr. hosted a Super Bowl party. His son was there, along with some cousins and other relatives. After the game ended, Teague Jr. and Berry went to a relative's house on Willie McLeod Lane. At some point, Teague Jr. and Berry headed across McLeod Lane and trudged the short distance to the mobile home on Willard's Lane, Detective Mark St. Clair of the Alexander County Sheriff's Office said. Investigators have not said what they think happened that led to Teague Jr. attacking Berry.
Jerry Walter Teague Jr. has a history of convictions on assault charges dating back to 1992, when he was convicted in Caldwell County of assault on a female. That same year in Alexander County he was convicted of assault on a govermment official, and in 2002 he was convicted in Wilkes County of felonious restraint and habitual misdemeanor assault. In 2003, he was again convicted in Caldwell County of assault on a female.
At the time of his arrest in Alexander County, Teague Jr. was wanted by Lenoir police on a charge of assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He was accused of punching his uncle, Terry Mason Dula, in the head on Aug. 25, 2013, causing internal bleeding that required two brain surgeries, Lenoir Police Capt. Couby Stilwell said.
"He had a temper," Jerry Teague Sr. said. "I just hate he done all this. There's nothing I could do. I hate this happened."
Berry lingered on life support until 6 p.m. Monday, when she died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Teague then was charged with first-degree murder.
Carter said that despite his sometimes violent past, Jerry Walter Teague Jr. recently seemed to finally turn a corner. He began going to the same church Carter attended, Liberty Grove Baptist Church.
"He told me he had made a change in his life, and they had been attending church the past four weeks," Carter said.
Carter was sad to learn Berry died.
"I'd been praying hard she would come out of it," he said. "When I found out she died, that really got to me."