Slain mother of two was living in fear, records show

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Published September 10 2018
Updated September 10 2018

TAMPA — Deputies have identified a mother of two who was shot to death in her home Friday. She is a woman who recently sought protection in court from her estranged husband.

Evelyn Chambers, 35, was found dead at her home on Sugarcreek Drive in the East Lake-Orient Park area just before noon after a neighbor heard gunshots and called 911.

Court records show that Chambers told authorities days before her death that she was living in fear of her estranged husband, Lenton Chambers Jr.

No arrests have been made, and the husband has not been named as a suspect. Detectives were still following up on leads Monday, said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Crystal Clark.

In a petition for protection against domestic violence filed on Aug. 27, Chambers described an incident at the Sugarcreek Drive home four months earlier.

That April day, the petition says, Lenton Chambers took his wife’s phone, threatened her and then kicked her in the face and shoulder with steel-toed boots. She said he bent her fingers and threatened to break them.

He came to the Sugarcreek Drive home on Aug. 26, she wrote, and initially refused to leave before making off with her television and mattress.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order and extended the order on Sept. 4 pending a hearing. Further details were not immediately available Monday.

Chambers had filed a similar petition on March 5. In that filing, she wrote that her husband came to her house the previous morning and began "yelling and making demands."

"He called me a b---- and said he should knock my head off my shoulders," she wrote.

When she tried to walk past him, she wrote, he slapped her face and then hit her in the face three times. When she tried to defend herself by hitting him with a bottle, he hit her about five more times, pulled her by the hair and threw her to the floor, the petition says. She called the Sheriff’s Office and deputies responded and arrested him on a domestic violence charge, records show.

"He is very violent toward me," she wrote. "I do not want him near me. I am afraid of him."

Chambers wrote that she did not have the means to relocate with her children and grandchild. A judge granted a temporary restraining order that was dismissed on March 14, records show.

Chambers had two daughters, ages 15 and 18, the Sheriff’s Office reported. They were not home at the time of the shooting.

Records show she married Lenton Chambers in 2006, and the two bought the Sugarcreek Drive home in 2015.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200.

Senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

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