Elizabeth Wall has been formally charged by Cobb County, Georgia, authorities in the shocking shooting death, PEOPLE confirms

By Adam Carlson
Updated September 06, 2016 12:55 PM
Credit: Source: Kemp Elementary; Courtesy Cobb County Sheriff's Office

A Georgia grandmother has been charged with the June murder of her daughter-in-law, with whom the suspect’s son was in the middle of a months-long divorce and custody battle, PEOPLE confirms.

Elizabeth Wall was indicted Thursday on multiple counts in the shooting death of Jenna Wall, 35, including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, according to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

Elizabeth, 63, allegedly fatally shot Jenna, a kindergarten teacher, on June 23 in the Atlanta-area home of Jenna’s parents, where Jenna had been staying as she was divorcing her husband, Jerrod.

Jenna’s two young sons, both under the age of 10, were at the home at the time of the shooting, according to police. But Elizabeth allegedly took the boys outside before Jenna was killed, and they heard gunfire, police have said.

Elizabeth has been in custody since she was arrested at the scene of Jenna’s death that same day.

Investigators have not disclosed a public motive in the shooting, beyond classifying it as a domestic-related homicide. But Jenna’s contentious divorce and custody dispute with Jerrod has drawn scrutiny.

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Court documents obtained by PEOPLE detail the conflict between Jenna and Jerrod over custody – including that Jenna was accused of having an affair, which Jerrod’s attorney told PEOPLE she admitted to, and Jenna’s claim that Jerrod was badmouthing her to their children.

Jenna’s friends and coworkers have remembered her as a beloved teacher and denied the affair.

Though police were asked about the Walls’ custody dispute in court during earlier hearings in the case, they did not reference any links between the legal battle and the allegations against Elizabeth.

Police said Elizabeth had allegedly been researching people who kill their families and themselves and that on April 19 – the same day Jerrod was deposed in the divorce case – Elizabeth bought the gun used in the shooting.

Elizabeth’s defense attorney, Jimmy Berry, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the indictment. But he has previously told PEOPLE that Elizabeth is remorseful about Jenna’s death.

She has not entered a plea to her charges.

“There’s not much question about who did it, it’s not one of those who-did-it? cases,” Berry said in July. “It’s: Why was it done? What happened with these folks that caused this?”

“Basically her feeling from the time that she’s been in there was that she wanted to die,” Berry said. “She did this to her family and she’s disappointed everybody.”

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds declined specific comment on the case, but tells PEOPLE that a general timeline would be nine to 12 months before a trial.

Elizabeth will next appear at an arraignment unless her lawyer waives it, Reynolds says.

Jenna’s family has not spoken publicly, and PEOPLE has not been able to reach them for comment. Friend Alyssa Kent previously told PEOPLE that Jenna loved her sons and “loved just making a difference in kids’ lives.”