Rock Hill mother kills 7-year-old son, then herself; woman had been found guilty of domestic violence

A Rock Hill woman who killed her seven-year-old son and then turned the gun on herself was found guilty of criminal domestic violence this week and ordered to attend 26 weeks of batterer’s counseling, according to police and court documents

Sandra Glover, 46, of 4015 Saluda Road, and her seven-year-old son, Jesse Helms, were found dead inside their home Thursday afternoon.

“The is a murder-suicide,” Lt. Tim Hager of the York County Sheriff's Office said. “The mother shot her seven-year-old and then turned the gun on herself.”

“There’s some issues with a domestic violence issue the day before that may have led to some of this,” Hager said.

Joe Helms arrived home to find his companion of 17 plus years on the kitchen floor against the freezer with a revolver in her hand, according to reports from York County Sheriff’s Office.

The couple’s son was found lying in the floor near the back door. The Oakdale Elementary School student had gunshot wounds to his back and head, the report notes.

Just a day before the shooting, Glover was in court for a criminal domestic violence charge, court records show. The court appearance stems from a two incidents that happened at the couple’s home on Jan. 28.

When police responded to the home around 9:14 p.m., Helms and Glover said they had argued and hit each other, the report notes. However, both contended “everything was fine and requested no further assistance,” the report says.

Nearly two hours later, officials returned to the house, where Helms stated Glover had “gone crazy,” according to police reports. Helms noted Glover refused to let their child go to bed, ransacked the home and assaulted him by throwing an ashtray, causing a laceration to his face, the report says.

Also noted was that Glover bit Helms on his left arm. He also had scratches on both sides of his face, the report says.

Glover was “highly intoxicated, cursing and yelling,” the report says.

According to the report, Glover countered that Helms threw a lamp and tried to choke her. She also stated that “she caused Helm’s injuries before” officials arrived the first time,” the report says.

Officials arrested Glover and charged her with criminal domestic violence in connection with the incident. Glover, whose bond was $2,125, was released on bond on Jan. 30. Her court date was set for Feb. 14.

She was tried on Wednesday, 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said. A judge found her guilty of domestic criminal violence.

Assistant Solicitor Jenny Desch prosecuted the case.

“The testimony revealed she (Glover) was highly intoxicated at the scene to the point that she was somewhat incoherent,” Desch said. “She testified that she does drink quite a bit.”

Howell ordered Glover to seek batterer’s counseling for 26 weeks.

“It was needed,” Desch said. “She (Glover) indicated that she had no desire to give up drinking.”

Glover was supposed to call a counseling service — Good Success — by 5 p.m. Thursday, he said.

“She did in fact call,” Brackett said. “She left a message.”

Hager said there was not warning.

“There is nothing to indicate that something of this magnitude would happen,” he said.

The incident is exactly what Brackett and others say they work to prevent by attempting to combat domestic violence, anger management or alcohol related issues.

“We’re grieving for the little boy,” Brackett said. “For his sake, we wish she would have given us a chance to help her. It’s just a terrible tragedy. The boy never really got a chance at life.”

Hager said Helms arrived home around 6:45 p.m. Thursday.

“All indications are the father was at work and came home,” Hager said about Helms who discovered the bodies on his kitchen floor.

Officials expect to conduct an autopsy on both bodies today, Hager said who added officials will meet today to try to develop a timeline for the incident.

“We have not put together a timeline” Hager said. The incident happened “some time yesterday afternoon after four but before 6:45 p.m.”

Jesse Helms was a second grade student at Oakdale, according to Elaine Baker, Rock Hill school district spokeswoman. Grief counselors are in place at the school this morning to help students and staff alike cope with their grief.

In addition to York County Sheriff’s Office, the York County Coroner’s Office and the York County Multijurisdictional Forensic Services Unit also responded to the scene.