Mabank man arrested after wife found dead of blunt-force trauma

Mabank man arrested after wife found dead of blunt-force trauma
Justin Combs (Source: Henderson County Jail website)

HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Mabank man has been arrested for murder in connection to the death of his wife, who died on March 16 as a result of swelling in her brain caused by blunt-force trauma.

Justin Scott Combs, 38, is still being held in the Henderson County Jail on a first-degree murder charge. His bond amount has been set at $2 million.

According to the complaint obtained by the Texas Ranger who assisted the Mabank Police Department with the investigation, the Ranger met with the MPD investigator on the case on March 18. He learned that on March 16, Mabank PD officers responded to a home in the 210 block of West Alene Street at about 5:50 p.m. in reference to an unresponsive person.

The responding MPD officer found Kristy Lynn Combs dead in a bedroom inside the home, the affidavit stated. Justin Combs, her husband, positively identified her.

Justin Combs allegedly told the MPD officer that he went to work that morning and found his wife dead when he returned home. He admitted to arguing with her before he left and said he sent her a text message at 12:46 p.m., but she didn’t respond.

After Justin Combs found his wife, he called 911, the complaint stated.

The MPD officer who responded to the scene found the home in “complete disarray,” the complaint stated. There were holes in the walls, and trash was scattered all over the floor.

“The home was dirty, smelled like feces, and was extremely un-kept,” the complaint stated.

Later, the Mabank PD officer met with one of the couple’s neighbors. The neighbor allegedly said Justin and Kristy Combs were always arguing and fighting with each other.

According to the complaint, Justin Combs admitted to arguing with his wife, but he claimed it was only verbal and not physical. Later, Combs allegedly told the MPD investigator that he had not physically assaulted his wife in about two weeks.

Judge Kevin Pollock ordered an autopsy in the case. The preliminary report indicated that Kristy Combs died from a subdural hematoma caused by blunt-force trauma to her head. The injury caused her brain to swell and shift to the left, which resulted in her death.

“The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, is homicide, pending further investigation,” the complaint stated.

According to the complaint, the medical examiner also noticed large bruises on both of the woman’s upper arms.

When the Texas Ranger interviewed the couple’s 6-year-old son, the boy said he woke up in his mother’s bed on the morning of March 16. The boy went into the kitchen, got a Pop-Tart, took his mother some pudding, and spoon-fed it to her.

The boy told the Texas Ranger that a man came by the house to talk to his mom, but he didn’t come inside the home.

After the man left, Kristy Combs went back to bed, according to the complaint. Her son went back to his bedroom and played video games for the rest of the day.

According to the complaint, the boy said he heard his dad screaming after he got home from work.

“He said he asked his dad if his mom was dead, and his dad told him yes,” the complaint stated.

On March 20, the Texas Ranger interviewed Justin Combs at his home. Justin Combs walked the law enforcement officer through what happened after he got home and said nothing was missing or appeared to have been tampered with, the complaint stated. Justin Combs also said there was no sign of forced entry into his home.

Three days later, the Texas Ranger spoke with the man who dropped by the Combs’ house on March 16. He said he brought money that he owed Justin between 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“He said Kristy came to the door, and she did not look well,” the complaint stated. “He said she was pale/yellow, and her eyes were bulging out. He said he told her she should go to the doctor because she did not look good.”

Kristy Combs’ father said he got a message from a vanity Facebook account that indicated something happened between Justin and Kristy over the weekend, but the person didn’t go into any detail.

After Justin Combs provided law enforcement officers the passcode for his wife’s phone, they found that Kristy had been documenting injuries to her body with photographs in the period from April 2019 to March 3, 2020, the complaint stated.

“Kristy had 20 pictures documenting bruising, black eyes, cuts, and other injuries to her body,” the complaint stated.

Later, Justin told authorities that he had a fight with his wife on March 15 and said it was only verbal. However, it was bad enough that his mother came to pick him up, the complaint stated.

“Justin said he was intoxicated to the point that he does not remember much,” the complaint stated.

When the Texas Ranger spoke to Justin Combs’ mother, she said she didn’t know the extent of the argument between Justin and his wife on the night before Kristy died. However, she said Justin and Kristy have physically assaulted each other in the past, the complaint stated.

“She confirmed one of the photos in Kristy’s phone is when Justin threw a cellular telephone at her, causing her to have a black eye and bruising on her forehead,” the complaint stated.

In another interview, the couple’s son said that his dad and mom fought all the time, and his dad would hit, punch, kick, and push his mother down, the complaint stated. The boy also said his dad would steal his mom’s glasses and spit in her food.

“He also said his daddy would punch holes in the walls of the house when he was mad,” the complaint stated.

Later in the complaint, the Texas Ranger said he believes there is probable cause to charge Justin Combs with murder.

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