DECATUR – (WAOK/AJC) Police have arrested a DeKalb County man who claimed he and his wife were attacked, and she was raped and strangled before her death early Sunday morning. DeKalb County , Jail Jesse Armstrong was arrested early Sunday morning on domestic battery charges. His wife, April Armstrong, was found dead in their home Sunday. Police are investigating the cause of her death. Jesse Armstrong initially told police he and his wife were attacked in their home by four men who raped, then strangled her. But investigators have since debunked that story. April Denise Armstrong was found dead inside her home in the 1800 block of Ridgeland Drive near Decatur. Her husband Jesse Armstrong, 60, was charged with misdemeanor battery and is being held in the DeKalb County jail on $50,000 bond, according to DeKalb County authorities. “No evidence was found that there was anyone inside the house other than the husband and wife,” DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. What police did find, however, were signs of domestic violence, Parish said. “There was evidence at the scene Mr. Armstrong assaulted his wife at some point earlier in the evening,” Parish said. Also found at the scene on the floor near where April Armstrong’s body was lying were a glass pipe with a white residue that police believe could be cocaine and a small plastic bag with a “chalky white substance also resembling cocaine,” according to the police incident report. Police arrived at the home at 2 a.m. after getting a call for help and found the woman dead on the living room floor. “They took the lady out here, working on her out here. About five minutes chest compression whatever they do,” a neighbor, Phillip Salmera, told Channel 2 Action News. Salmera, who lives across the street, said he saw the man standing in front of the doorway, screaming for help. Jesse Armstrong told police that five Japanese men broke into the residence, raped his wife and strangled her, according topolice reports. The man told police the men bit his hand as he tried to fight them off, police said. But people familiar with the typically quiet community said the man’s story about five Japenese men breaking in doesn’t seem right. “That just don’t sound right for this neighborhood,” Leo Redmond told Channel 2. “Five Japanese men over here, that don’t sound right.” Jesse Armstrong has been arrested before for, among other things, a 2005 charge that he made a false report of a crime. Investigators are awaiting an autopsy to determine what caused April Armstong’s death. The investigation continues.
photo by Jean Ross WAOK-AM