Police say a domestic squabble between a Murfreesboro couple ended with the boyfriend being stabbed to death, and it happened right in front of the woman's 12-year-old son.
Zaniel Radley, 23, called his mother two hours before he was stabbed to death.
"I got a call from him at 11 o'clock saying he was on the way to the hospital to see me," said his mother, Marilyn Radley.
She has kidney failure, and had just finished a dialysis treatment, and had to spend the night in the hospital, when she received another call.
"My boyfriend called me back and said, 'Don't get upset, Nikki just killed Zaniel,'" Marilyn Radley said.
Murfreesboro police responded to a domestic stabbing call at a Pine Court apartment around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Nicole "Nikki" Alexander, 31, allegedly stabbed Zaniel Radley, her live-in boyfriend, in the chest after an argument.
The couple has two children together.
"She kept on saying, 'turn me a loose you are choking me, you're choking me,'" said Jerry Alexander, the woman's uncle. "He didn't turn her loose, and I guess she broke away some kind of way and went into the kitchen, got a knife and just stuck him, I guess."
Jerry Alexander said the argument may have started after Zaniel Radley received a text message from another woman.
Nikki Alexander's 12-year-old son witnessed the stabbing, according to police.
"He was in shock this morning. He really was, he was in shock," Jerry Alexander said.
Police have classified this as a death investigation. They will present the case to a grand jury which will decide if any criminal charges will be filed.
"She deserves to be in jail," the victim's mother said. "She shouldn't take nobody's life over a text message."
Police have responded to 2,052 domestic calls so far this year.
"We've seen it time and time again where domestic violence cases start out as verbal arguments and end up in someone's death," said Sgt. Kyle Evans, Murfreesboro police spokesman.
In the meantime, Zaniel Radley's mother is trying to make sense of it all.
The MPD Criminal Investigation Division Violent Crimes Unit is investigating.
No arrest has been made at this time.
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