Mesa woman charged with murder in shooting death of ex-husband

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Kathy Thorpe By Jennifer Thomas Kathy Thorpe By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland
A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland
A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night. By Catherine Holland

MESA -- A man is dead and his ex-wife is behind bars after a three-hour standoff late Wednesday night.

Police said it started with the woman calling 911 Wednesday night and telling the dispatcher she shot a man.

When officers arrived on the scene near Westwood and Eighth Avenue, however, that woman refused to let them into her home, even threatening them with a gun. She refused to cooperate with officers for quite some time.

After three hours, police were finally able to get into the house. Inside, they found a man who had been shot. Investigators are not saying how many times the man, identified as Don Thorpe, 53, had had been shot, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kathy Thorpe, 49, was taken into custody.

Family members tell 3TV that the man and woman were once married, but had been divorced for more than 20 years and have a 26-year-old daughter. According to the family, the two had started seeing each other again fairly recently.

The family said the relationship had always been "toxic," and said drugs and alcohol were factors, both in the relationship and in the shooting.

They also said alcohol might have contributed to the woman's behavior in the past, which was described by some as strange. Neighbors said she's had least one run-in with the police.

"She was an alcoholic. We know that much, " said Francine Allocca."She kept coming out at point, and trying to get children from the neighborhood to go into her house with her. Everybody around here know she has dogs that are vicious. ... She was hugging on the kids. ... The police came out and talked to her and told her to leave the kids alone."

It's still not clear just what led up to the shooting.

Thorpe was booked on one count of second-degree murder.