April 8, 2013
LIMA — A man wanted after the shooting of a pregnant Lima woman surrendered himself to police Monday.
The woman, Tara Cutlip, had twice accused 22-year-old Marquavius D. Shurelds of domestic violence, according to court records. Cutlip never went forward with the cases, police said.
No charges were filed Monday, and it’s unclear when Shurelds will make his first court appearance. Killing a pregnant woman can earn a death sentence.
Cutlip’s autopsy was Monday at the Lucas County Coroner’s Office in Toledo. Results were unavailable late afternoon, said Lima Police Lt. Jim Baker.
A rocky past
While police were trying to piece together the incident, court records paint a picture of a rocky past between Shurelds and Cutlip.
Shurelds was charged with domestic violence in 2012 and 2011 over incidents with Cutlip, according to Lima Municipal Court records.
Cutlip failed to appear to testify at Shurelds' trial regarding an incident in August. He was charged after an incident in July 2011, according to court records, but Cutlip asked prosecutors to dismiss the case.
Crossroads Crisis Center Executive Director Emily Wrencher said women commonly choose not pursue charges against an abusive boyfriend or husband.
“Either the offender gives her hope or fear," Wrencher said. "Both being great motivators changing her mind on prosecution."
Prosecutors can move forward with a case without a victim, but often the victim’s testimony is the key piece of evidence. Without it, Wrencher said, the case often is lost.
Wrencher encourages women to go forward with charges and not back down.
“They need to pursue and cooperate in the prosecution. It doesn’t always mean the relationship will end,” she said. “There needs to be consequences in order for the offender to change his behavior.”
Battered women also need to realize they are not at fault, Wrencher said.
“There’s nothing they did or didn’t do to deserve the abuse. It’s a problem with the offender,” Wrencher said.
Shurelds had a small child with Cutlip, but whether he was the father of the unborn child is unknown.
Cutlip was shot multiple times at her home at 1157 Bahama Drive. Police were called Saturday to the home after a person found her unresponsive.
Shurelds has several outstanding warrants for his arrest. He has one out of common pleas court on a felony weapons charge and two at Lima Municipal Court for not showing at hearings in a driving under suspension case and a drug case, according to court records.
Shurelds was convicted of having a gun under a court sanction in 2010. He was sentenced to three months in jail and placed on four years probation, according to court records.
A probation officer filed to have Shurelds' probation revoked in December, and a bench warrant was issued.