Records: Wife of Texas church shooter filed for divorce days after violent 2012 attack

Divorce granted in New Mexico in October 2012

OTERO COUNTY, New Mexico – The first wife of accused Sutherland Springs church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley filed for divorce less than a week after Kelley was accused of striking her and her toddler, according to divorce records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Claiming the couple had become "incompatible," Tessa Kelley filed a petition to dissolve her marriage on May 3, 2012, according to Otero County District Court records.


The divorce petition makes no mention of a series of violent attacks, including one on April 27, 2012, described in court-martial records for Devin Patrick Kelley, who was later removed from the Air Force under a bad conduct discharge.

Tessa Kelley was also able to get the court to waive all fees related to processing the case, claiming she had a limited income consisting of a $7.50 an hour job at Taco Bell, $300 in monthly child support payments from a previous relationship, and $25 she was carrying on her.

READ MORE: Sutherland Springs church shooter escaped mental health facility months after attack on wife, child

The verified marital settlement, signed in October 2012, shows that Tessa Kelley was given the couple's television, an Xbox 360, a revolver and her wedding ring.

Devin Patrick Kelley agreed to take over payments on a Dodge Charger and a Kawasaki motorcycle.

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About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.