The relationship between James and Jodi Joyce began to crumble in the months leading up to her violent death, according to a police report made public Tuesday.
Las Vegas police say James Joyce, 52, stabbed his ex-wife, Jodi Sunshine Joyce, 40, to death in their Silverstone Ranch home early Monday morning before he turned the 10-inch knife on himself in a suicide attempt.
Monday’s slaying in the northwest valley was the culmination of months of violent outbursts and police calls, the report shows, and an eventual divorce.
Jodi Joyce and James Joyce had been fighting for “the past several years,” police said, and James Joyce believed she had been having an affair, according to the arrest report.
This summer, those fights turned violent.
On July 12, James Joyce was arrested on domestic battery charges and served with a temporary protective order that lasted until July 21, according to the arrest report from the killing.
After the order expired, Jodi Joyce allowed her then-husband of 21 years to move back into the house “in an attempt to work out their differences,” the report said.
But on July 28, police again were called to the residence after Jodi Joyce told her husband she wanted a divorce. James Joyce became angry and said he was going to commit suicide, according to the report.
Jodi Joyce filed for divorce on Aug. 28, citing irreconcilable differences. The two argued over custody of their two children but agreed to end the marriage. The divorce became official on Sept. 29.
As part of the divorce agreement, the couple would have split custody of the children, their 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.
They also agreed that James Joyce could stay at their house in the 8500 block of Berkley Hall Street, near the intersection of Buffalo and Grand Teton drives, until Jan. 10.
But, police said, that agreement didn’t stay amicable for long.
Three weeks later, Jodi Joyce was dead.
On Monday morning, police said, the two began to argue after Jodi Joyce lost her car keys as she was trying to leave for work. James Joyce accused her of cheating on him. He told her he was going into the kitchen to make one of their children lunch for school.
But instead, police said, James Joyce took a 10-inch knife into the bedroom where Jodi and their two children were at.
Their daughter ran out to call 911.
The son watched as James Joyce stabbed his ex-wife in the chest before stabbing himself in the belly, according to the report.
The children ran outside and waited for police as James Joyce barricaded himself inside the back bedroom.
Shortly after SWAT arrived at the house, they forced their way into the room.
Jodi Joyce was found lying on the floor and pronounced dead at the scene.
James Joyce was unconscious, and medical personnel took him to University Medical Center in critical condition. He was booked in absentia on one charge of murder with a deadly weapon.
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at email@example.com or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead.