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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

[TX] Correctional Officer Geraldine Citizen Sterling murdered, husband in custody

..."The light of everybody's life... She didn't deserve to die like that," says [her sister Joy] Pickney... She was working at the [Mark Stiles State Prison] unit as a Corrections Officer and taking care of her 12 year old daughter...

Husband Charged in Wife's Murder

KBMT ABC 12, TX
Apr 15, 2008
Beaumont Police Officers have filed murder charged against the husband of a woman whose body was found in her home over the weekend. Patrolmen Sunday were called to the 1600 block of Parry in reference to a possible death. When they arrived they found the body of 34-year-old Geraldine Citizen Sterling. Detectives say it appeared that she died of blunt force trauma. A police investigation indicated that the victim's husband, 26-year-old Charles Russell Sterling, Jr. was the suspect in her murder. His bloody clothes, shoes and a bloody hammer were found in the trunk of her car. An arrest warrant was issued late Monday afternoon for Sterling. He is charged with murder in the beating death of his wife. Sterling turned himself to Investigators at 9:30 Tuesday morning. [Source]


Husband Arrested, Family Making Funeral Arrangements
kfdm
Jennifer Heathcock
April 15, 2008
...Relatives of the victim say she was a good person who would do anything for friends and family. "We actually lost our sister and we didn't know how, who did it. We just found out. And it's hurting us because it was close. It's hard right now," says Bonnie Briggs, Geraldine's sister. Hard for Geraldine Citizen Sterling's sisters, Bonnie Briggs and Joy Pickney, to understand why she's gone. "The light of everybody's life. She had lots of friends, everybody loved her. And she didn't have any enemies... She didn't deserve to die like that," says Pickney... She was working at the [Mark Stiles State Prison] unit as a Corrections Officer and taking care of her 12 year old daughter. Geraldine's sisters say she did everything for her husband... Geraldine's funeral will be this Friday. [Full article here]

UPDATE: 



POLICE DESCRIBE BLOODY SCENE TO OPEN CRACK FOR CAR MURDER TRIAL
Beaumont Enterprise
Ken Fountain
May 11, 2010
Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of a Beaumont man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer so that he could sell her truck in order to buy crack cocaine. Charles Russell Stering Jr., 28, originally told police and media outlets that he discovered Geraldine Citizen, 34, already dead when he entered their home ... But authorities say Sterling later confessed to "trading her car for crack"... [Full article here]

CHARLES STERLING GUILTY, SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS
12newsnow.com
Posted: May 13, 2010 9:56 AM PDT
Updated: Jun 01, 2010 3:50 PM PDT
[Excerpts] A jury has found Charles Sterling guilty of killing his wife Geraldine Citizen with a hammer back in April of 2008.  A judge sentenced Sterling to 40 years in prison; he will be eligible for parole after he serves half of his prison term. The jury took two hours Thursday to convict Sterling of first-degree murder. In addition to his prison sentence, Sterling will have to pay a $5,000 fine... "It's been very difficult," said Bonnie Briggs, who is the victim's sister. "My sister is not brought back by this, but we do found some closure in this"... Prosecutors and the defense said strong DNA and witness statements played a huge role in this case... Investigators found the car and bloody clothes that belonged to Sterling... [Full article here]

MAN GETS 40-YEAR SENTENCE FOR KILLING WIFE WITH HAMMER
Beaumont Enterprise
Ken Fountain
May 13, 2010
[Excerpts] A jury sentenced a man to 40 years and a $5,000 fine after finding him guilty Thursday of bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer two years ago. Charles Russell Sterling Jr., 28, of Beaumont, faced five to 99 years or life in prison for killing his wife, Geraldine Citizen, 34, on April 12, 2008, to sell her car to buy crack cocaine. The car was found later with known crack dealers, with bloody clothing which witnesses identified as the clothes worn by Sterling on the day of his wife's death, along with a claw hammer... Bonnie Briggs, Citizen's sister, described Citizen as a "loving, caring type of person who was the soldier of the family, who did everything for us"... Defense attorney Mike Laird asked jurors to assess a punishment at the lower end... He described the killing as "an act of desperation of some sort that got out of control." Criminal district attorney John Nelson asked the jurors to consider a long sentence. "I feel sorry for his parents, too," he said. "They have a murderer for a son" ... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities texas state murder jail guard murder]

9 comments:

  1. Hammer was tool of death, according to affidavit
    By: JEMIMAH NOONOO, The Enterprise
    04/16/2008
    Updated 04/16/2008

    On Sunday, two families mourned the beating death of a beloved sister, wife and daughter-in-law.

    Both also sought to console Charles Russell Sterling Jr., the newly widowed man who made television pleas for someone - anyone - to come forward in the beating death of his wife, Geraldine Citizen, 34.

    Then the story took a different turn.

    Sterling, 26, was charged Tuesday with murder in his wife's death. He was being held Tuesday night on a $100,000 bond at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

    Citizen was hit in the head with a claw hammer, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

    Police also are accusing him of trading his wife's Ford Taurus for crack cocaine. Officers found bloody clothing, shoes and the hammer in the car's trunk.

    Citizen's death was reported after 1 a.m. Sunday by Charles Sterling, who called 911, according to police.

    "We never thought anything like this would happen to our sister," said Bonnie Briggs, 26. "And nothing can bring her back."

    As Citizen's family members made funeral arrangements for the former Stiles Unit corrections officer, they continued to reflect on a life so tragically cut down.

    Briggs, 26, said she will miss the sister who wouldn't end their phone conversations without saying, "I love you."

    Citizen, affectionately known as J.J. in the family, was one of six siblings. The Cheek native was a 1992 graduate of Hardin-Jefferson High School and aspired to become a registered nurse.

    She began taking classes at Lamar University Port Arthur last year to reach that goal, her family said.

    Both the Citizen and Sterling families said they did not know how Citizen met Charles Sterling, but said it was an off-and-on relationship for five years.

    The two would argue over Sterling's drug use, Briggs said, but Citizen remained with him through rehab. Her sister's motherly instinct would kick in, Briggs said.

    "(Geraldine) felt like God put her in his life for a reason," Briggs said. "We all felt that she deserved better, but honestly and truthfully, she loved him, and we stood by her for that."

    Briggs said there were no signs of a violent relationship, and her sister would have left Sterling if she believed he was using cocaine again.

    The Sterling family said they were "extremely close" to Citizen and are mourning a woman whom they believed could help set Charles Sterling on the right track.

    When asked whether his brother was capable of killing someone, Michael Sterling, a Chicago defense lawyer who is acting as family spokesman, said, "I don't know. I don't think I can answer."

    Charles Sterling struggled academically while attending West Brook High School, and transferred to the Paul A. Brown Center, his brother said. Before graduating in 2000, he married his high school sweetheart but they later divorced.

    He then enlisted in the U.S. Marines but was discharged. Michael Sterling, who has not lived in Beaumont for seven years, would speak to Charles Sterling on occasion. Sometimes the family would not know his whereabouts.

    "He would tell us a lot of things," he said. "Some of them true, some of them weren't.

    "You don't want to believe he's capable of that. No one wants to believe that my brother is capable of taking someone's daughter, mother, his own wife ...," he said, his voice trailing off. "This is surreal."

    A murder charge generally carries a punishment of five to 99 years, according to the Texas Penal Code. Sterling family members said they have not thought about the prosecution of a criminal case.

    "Right now, we want to mourn the loss of someone extremely close to our family," Michael Sterling said. "She was a wonderful person."

    Citizen had a pre-teen daughter from a previous relationship. Charles Sterling has an elementary school-aged daughter.

    Briggs wants her sister to be remembered not only as a life cut short but as a strong woman with a kind heart.

    "My sister is remembered in our family truly as a soldier," she said. "She was a soldier."

    Citizen's funeral will be at Antioch Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Friday.

    Fred Davis contributed to this report.

    http://www.southeasttexaslive.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19487598&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=512588&rfi=6

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  2. i miss geraldine sooooo much;(

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  3. J.J. was like my big sister i loved & still love her to this day nothing can change the hurt or pain that the family went through and are still going through... we love and miss u and no u r up there picking berries or fishing!!! we love you!!!

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  4. WE AS A FAMILY MISS U SISTER, AND WE ALWAYS WILL IT LIKE A BIG HOLE IN THE FAMILY SINCE U AND MOMMA IS GONE HOME.WE LOVE U AND MOMMA, LIFE ISN'T THE SAME WITHOUT U AND MOMMA.HOLIDAYS AND BIRTHDAYS AREN'T THE SAME WITH OUT U.LOVE ALWAYS YOUR SISTER JOY PICKNEY

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  5. I am so sorry for loss. I was a friend of sterling when he was stationed in the marine corps in jacksonville, N.C. I hope your family has peace. i know things will not be the same without her but know that she is with the lord. From what i read about her i see she was a woman with a heart of gold. And she will be remembered for that. i pray you guys can continue on in rememberance of her. may god bless


    Nakeya Square
    Jacksonville, N.C.

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  6. My HEART STILL ACHE FOR YOU ITS SO HARD TO LET GO YOUR KIND OF LOVE (UNCONDTIONAL) THE KIND OF LOVE THAT NEVER DIES. I MISS YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AN WISH YOU WAS STILL HERE.
    LOVE.................YOUR IN MY HEART FOR LIFE........CHARLOTTE STERLING

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  7. I AM SITTING HERE THINKING OF YOU WONDERING WHY DID GOD TAKE YOU....IT STILL HURTS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY....THE PAIN IS SO DEEP...I JUST WISH OUR PATHWAYS WE CROSSED WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DEATH FOR YOU....THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROSE..DAMN I MISS MY BESTI THE ONE WHO UNDERSTOOD ME AN WHIPPED MY TEARS AWAY IN MY SORROW....I LOVE YOU ....WITH ALL MY HEART....AND I WILL ALWAYS MOURN THE ONE TRUE LOVE I LOST...I AM MISSING YOU...YOUR SISTER FOR LIFE AN ALWAYS CHARLOTTE

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  8. I can't beleive its beem 6 yrs .....6 yrs since you been gone...I still cry myself to sleep at night thinking of your love i miss so much. My heart is so heavy because i beleive justice for you has still not seen the light of day. I miss seeing you laugh, smelling your food, fishing, playing cards joking, dancing, going to church watching you change your life.....I just miss all the feeling and emotions you had inside you most of all i just miss you Jay.......I often wonder what my life would be like if you was still here to help and guide me along the way to see my son it would have been the world to me...Gone to soon but never forgotten i carry you in my heart always and forever ... The truth will be reveal....this sorrow this pain and love and hurt so many many emotions still i ask god to take it away but i love you with all my heart i am only flesh....As i sit here Wishing and Praying you was still her but your not cause your gone. I love you just wanting to let you know where my heart is and try to release some of this pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6yrs 6yrs 6yrs 6yrs living with this hurt of loosing my everything

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  9. Added the sentencing info above. I am so sorry you had such a lovely woman stolen from all of you. Sorry to the parents of Sterling as well.

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