Documents: Turmoil between Perry Co., MO couple in weeks leading - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Documents: Turmoil between Perry Co., MO couple in weeks leading to deadly shooting

Joseph J. Rutledge (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Office) Joseph J. Rutledge (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Office)
Mary Rutledge's estranged husband is accused of shooting and killing her. (Photo courtesy of her daughter) Mary Rutledge's estranged husband is accused of shooting and killing her. (Photo courtesy of her daughter)
(Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter) (Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter)
(Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter) (Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter)
(Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter) (Photo courtesy of Mary Rutledge's daughter)
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

The man accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife made his first court appearance on Tuesday, October 25.

Joseph Rutledge was arraigned and did not have representation.

He will be appointed a public defender.

Rutledge is due back in court in December.

The incident occurred Saturday, October 22 at approximately 12:04 a.m.

According to court documents, Mary Rutledge, 49, and her boyfriend, Robert Edwards, 54, pulled up to her driveway on Wesley Drive off of PCR 844.

That's when Rutledge's estranged husband, Joseph Rutledge, 42, allegedly forced the car off the road and rammed the vehicle.

Mary Rutledge got out of the car and that's when Joseph Rutledge allegedly shot and killed her.

He then shot Edwards twice when he got out of the vehicle. Edwards is in a St. Louis hospital with serious injuries.

The Rutledge's 18-year-old son who was present at the time of the shooting told officers that they'd been in Festus to visit his mother's family.

On their way home, the son told investigators that his mom was getting text messages from her estranged husband telling her not to enter the driveway.

The son said when they stopped by the mailboxes at the intersection of Wesley Drive and PCR 844, his dad was "driving like a maniac down the driveway from his house." He told officers his Dad stopped and got into an argument with Mary Rutledge and Robert Edwards.

That's when Rutledge's son and 8-year-old grandson got out of the car and walked to the home.

The son told officers he saw his dad hit the car with his truck head on three times and heard his mother screaming at Joseph to stop.

Once inside, the son said he heard two or three gun shots and that when his Dad got to the home he said "Call the cops, I shot them."

Court documents also show that witnesses said Joseph Rutledge had been up for about three days because he was using methamphetamine.

When deputies arrived at the home after the murder, they said Joseph Rutledge was sitting on the porch.

Investigators in Perryville said they are looking into an incident involving Mary and Joseph Rutledge that happened on October 18 at a home on Edgemont street.

That incident led both husband and wife to file police reports against one another.

Family members say Joe Rutledge filed a restraining order against Mary on September 23. Mary reportedly filed a restraining order against him on October 3. A judge threw both out on October 6.

Rutledge has been charged with 1st degree murder, 1st degree assault, and armed criminal action.

He was taken into custody without incident and is being held at the Perry County Sheriff's Office on $250,000 cash-only bond.

The visitation for Mary Dietrich is at the Dietrich-Mothershead funeral home in Desoto, Missouri on Thursday. The Funeral is at 10 a.m on Friday, Oct. 28.

Her 18-year-old son Austin is a senior at Perryville High School.

School leaders have started a GoFundMe account for him. To donate to the go-fund-me account to help Austin with day-to-day expenses, you can click here.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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