Anyone in an abusive relationship who needs help can call the national domestic violence helpline at 800.799.7233.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Court documents are shedding new light on a deadly shooting in Grand Rapids, which investigators believed was the result of domestic violence.
Police responded Thursday morning to calls of an unresponsive woman with multiple gunshot wounds next to a home on Union Avenue SE near Oakdale Street. When they arrived, they found Alicia Lofton, 38, dead.
Her husband Marcus Lofton, 42, was arrested the same day and has been charged with open murder and felony firearm for allegedly shooting and killing her.
According to a probable cause affidavit, he told investigators that she served him divorce papers the day before the shooting and was selling their house.
The document goes on to say that Marcus Lofton said he and his wife argued that Thursday morning and he grabbed her pistol from a drawer. He tried to hit her with it, he said, and it went off. He told police she went into another room and locked the door. When he forced it open, she was climbing out a window. According to the document, he said that’s when he shot her several times.
At the time of the shooting, Marcus Lofton wasn’t supposed to be in contact with his wife after a domestic violence arrest in May.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said domestic violence is on the shortlist of crimes his office sees each day.
“It doesn’t discriminate based on geographic area, it doesn’t discriminate in terms of socioeconomic (status). It’s everywhere,” Becker said.
In response to an increase in domestic violence cases, in 2022, $4 million in federal coronavirus relief funding was set aside for Kent County’s Domestic Violence Action Network.
“When we were looking for the funding, we saw probably our highest level. I think we had five or six domestic violence homicides,” Becker said.
In addition to establishing a domestic violence court in Kent County with the funding, another goal is a lethality review program for high-risk cases.
“To take a look at those basic cases we may get and take a look at it and say this one may be a little bit more serious, we’ve got to do a little more focus,” Becker said.
Victim advocates with the prosecutor’s office have already started training on lethality review assessments. Becker said the information collected during those assessments could help direct resources.
“Whether it be the victim, or maybe the defendant needs more restrictions. It’s really responding individually to that case by getting that information,” Becker explained.
Becker said it takes a holistic approach to address domestic violence:
A GoFundMe account has been set up to support Alicia Lofton’s children.
If Marcus Lofton is convicted, he faces up to life in prison. He was also previously convicted of gun- and drug-related felonies in 2000, 2002 and 2014.