A Christian businesswoman in Texas who advocated against domestic violence died after she was allegedly battered by her estranged boyfriend whom she begged her church to pray for just days before she was attacked, her pastor said.
Grand Prairie Police told ABC's Dallas affiliate WFAA that they were called in by staff at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas on Sept. 21 after Anger Room founder Donna Alexander was brought to the emergency room by her boyfriend, Nathaniel Mitchell, with severe head injuries. Anger Room, which was founded by Alexander in 2008, allows customers to smash things for a fee as a way to relieve stress.
When Mitchell was questioned by authorities about what happened, he claimed the petite businesswoman had fallen in the shower, according to CBS. They found his explanation inconsistent with Alexander's injuries and he was arrested for outstanding warrants. Detectives later charged him with aggravated assault. When Alexander died on Sept. 24, they upgraded that charge to murder.
Alexander's two children told family that they were locked inside a room and could hear their mother screaming and glass breaking the day their mother was beaten.
"Don't wait until it's too late. My sister waited until it was too late," Alexander's sister, Lauren Armour, said at a candlelight vigil on Monday.
Alexander had been having relationship struggles and she shared some of what she was going through with friends but not with her church family at Crossroads Christian Church where Brian Carter, an associate pastor, said she requested prayer for Mitchell just days before she was attacked.
"Her very last prayer request was for her assailant," Carter said. "His heart's not right and [she] pray[ed] that his heart would soften."
Delores Hodge, who shared a birthday with Alexander, told Fox 4 that her friend wasn't a violent person.
"She was sweet. So sweet. So soft-spoken," Delores said. "My last text message from her, she said, 'I love you.'"
She found it ironic though that her friend would die as a result of abuse she advocated against.
"For it to be that, she expired the same way for something that she was advocating against ..." Delores said. "You think about what makes your mind say, 'Wow, this thing is so real.' You just never know."
In a post on the church's website last Friday, Barry Cameron, senior pastor at Crossroads Christian Church, explained that they first met Alexander through a program run by the church called Change for a Dollar. She was struggling to make ends at the time and they were able to offer her some assistance.
"It's one of many outreaches we have to reach out to people with the love of Christ. We began the program in January 2015. Since that time, we have helped over 1,500 families and 5,000 different people, most of whom are complete strangers to Crossroads, and given away more than $1,256,063.05 to help them," Cameron said.
Alexander, Cameron said, was one of the original recipients of help through the program when she was selected on Jan. 4, 2015.
"She and her two children were behind on rent and had been nominated by someone who has attended Crossroads since 2011," he said.
A year later in January 2016, Alexander got baptized at Crossroads and "eventually became one of our faithful decision counselors," Cameron explained. He said her two children remain in one of the church's junior high Connect Groups and a memorial service is planned for her at the church on Wednesday.