A peaceful Thanksgiving at a home in a quiet neighborhood of brick houses and backyard swimming pools ended with a woman shot dead and her husband charged with murder, police said.
“From talking with my cousins, it was a good Thanksgiving,” said Lasean Conaway, cousin of Chauntelle Bernard, 42, who died of gunshot wounds. “They cooked and hosted the family, and it was going fine. They were going on a cruise next week.”
But, instead, officers arrested Dudley Bernard, 40, about 11 p.m. Thursday without incident, at his home in the 2300 block of Indigo Harbour Lane, said John Griffith, spokesman for the League City Police Department.
Dudley Bernard was later charged with murder in connection with his wife’s death and was being held Friday in the Galveston County Jail on $200,000 bond.
Officers founded Chauntelle Bernard near the front door of the residence dead from multiple gunshot wounds, Griffith said. Investigators weren’t sure exactly how many times she was shot.
Investigators on Friday still were unsure about a lot of what happened, but relatives present in the house told police there had been a disturbance of some sort, Griffith said. Witnesses told investigators Dudley Bernard had briefly gone outside and returned with a handgun, Griffith said.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Friday that both Dudley Bernard and Chauntelle Bernard were federal employees.
Dudley Bernard had worked as an agriculture specialist in the “Houston seaport environment” since August 2008, according to a spokesman. Chauntelle joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2008 and had worked her way up to become a supervisory officer.
“No words can express the sense of loss her death brings to her colleagues and friends in CBP,” officials said.
Federal officials also responded to the shooting Thursday, recovering unspecified items, Griffith said. Federal officials declined to comment about whether the weapon used in the shooting was Dudley Bernard’s service weapon, referring questions to the League City Police Department.
Investigators weren’t sure where the handgun came from but did seize a weapon perhaps used in the shooting, Griffith said.
Chauntelle Bernard was originally from New Orleans, and the Bernards had two young children, Conaway said.