Taking the children away

They met when she was 13 years old. Both were working in a pet store and grooming pets. Some have said they began dating at that time.

Erika Bell Horton, 26, continued to groom pets until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago. Friends say she really loved pets.  

Erika Horton and Larry Brent Horton, 36, married in 2000. Friends have said that the only time they knew of the couple to argue was over financial problems. And reportedly Brent Horton didn’t even raise his voice then. They say he was just a calm person. The couple went on to become parents of 2 children ages 4 and 2 years. Brent Horton was already the father of two teens from a previous relationship.

The Horton’s had their share of trouble. Brent Horton filed for bankruptcy in 2005. And reportedly Erika Horton had left him over his spending habits. Yet friends say she loved him no matter what he did.

Brent Horton filed for divorce in July of 2006, and in the  complaint he cited adultery. But the couple never followed through on the divorce and appear to have reconciled.

On Tuesday, the two children were visiting their grandparents. And just after 11 pm 911 dispatchers received a call from man who said his wife had been killed. When they arrived they found Larry Brent Horton standing outside the home waiting for them with bloody hands.

They found Erika Bell Horton in the home, dead with stab wounds to her head and neck.

Investigators have said that Horton told them that Erika Horton was intending to leave and take the children with her. According to detectives he said he “did not want his wife taking the children away.”

Larry Brent Horton has been charged with murder.

groupstate.com            fox21.com             wistv.com

As always the ones who say it was because of the children always perplex me. If convicted and sent to prison he will likely have less contact with tthe children than if the couple had divorced.

The children will not have either parent to send them off to school, to kiss them when they fall, or teach them to ride a bike. Neither will be there when they start dating, to attend their graduation or be at their wedding. Neither parent will be there when their first children are born.

Someone else will have to stand with them when they attend their mother’s funeral, will have to explain to them what that means. Someone else will guide them as they grow, someone else will pay to support them, someone else will see their smiles and wipe their tears. And someone else will love them.



  1. Kirk said,

    January 6, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Larry Brent Horton is my first cousin. I can’t understand how he could do this. He was always a really nice guy to everyone…

  2. January 6, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Kirk, why is one of the biggest questions ever asked, and is usually the one that cannot be answered. Only he knew what was in his mind. And he isn’t the only nice guy that has done it.

  3. Brandon Jacobs said,

    January 8, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Erika was one of my best friends. We worked together in greenville and moved to beaufort together. I knew abuse was taking place but she still stayed with him for her kids. I miss her and know that she is in a better place.

  4. Kirk said,

    January 15, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Abuse? He never hurt anyone that I have ever known about. He got in fights with his brother, but who doesn’t? She was supposedly doing witch craft. That’s not a cold hard fact, but that’s what I’ve heard. He was a really nice guy. It’s really a shame that someone has died, and now the lives of him, and those girls are ruined.

  5. Nicole said,

    January 15, 2007 at 4:45 am

    It is terrible that so many people have to suffer because of the selfish act of one man. It is very unlikely that this was the only time that Brent was violent to his wife, lets be realistic. Anyone who attempts to put blame on Erika accusing her of witchcraft should be ashamed of himself. The people who were closest may have seen the signs but were either in denial about the abuse or simply did not care. No one deserves to die this way.

  6. January 15, 2007 at 4:56 am

    While most of the time I will refuse to allow too much bad mouthing the victim unless personally viewed by the commenter, I am going to allow this. Whether or not she did practive ‘witchcraft’ (more properly known as ‘wicca’) is beside the point. Even if it is true. As far as I know, the practice of ‘witchcraft” is not illegal. And definitely doesn’t deserve a death penalty. Whether he abused her or not, we may never know. She wasn’t allowed to live to tell.
    Spouses are sometimes killed in a first violent attack. And an awful lot of those happen at the time of a separation or divorce.

  7. Kirk said,

    January 15, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    I wasn’t saying it deserved the death penalty. I didn’t even say it was true. What happened to her is horrible. The only reason I brought it up is that maybe she was doing witchcraft and threatened to take his kids away, and he snapped. Wouldn’t you if you were against that stuff? I do feel bad for her, and Brent should pay for what he did, but this is the only act of violence he ever committed, except for with his brother.

    And show me please where I bad mouthed her. I have said nothing bad about her. Except that someone said she was doing witchcraft.

  8. Charmaine said,

    January 16, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Kirk, obviously you now know that even “nice” guys can do some horrible things. Remember that this is the only act of violence that you are AWARE of. Often abuse is hidden well by both parties and/or people turn a blind eye for some reason. I have to say that suspicion of Erika doing withcraft and the fear of her taking the kids away in no way validates him “snapping” to the point that his mindset was ok with committing a vicious, brutal and cruel act that left his wife, and the mother of their two children, dead at 26 years old. My heart goes out to those little ones. May God comfort and protect them and please guide us all in this tragic time.

  9. Kirk said,

    January 16, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    The kids are safe and doing okay. My mother took care of them the other day.

  10. Kirk said,

    January 16, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    I never said it was justified. I’m just saying that certain things can make a person go insane.

  11. January 16, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Kirk, thanks for the update about the kids.

  12. Charmaine said,

    January 17, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Yes, glad to hear that that kids are ok. I pray the rest of the family is ok too. I’m sure its a difficult time for all.

  13. Tammy said,

    January 17, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Brent is a close friend of mine.Does anyone realize that she walked out on the girls and him stating she no longer wanted to be a wife or mother.DOES THIS JUSTIFY MURDER NO,but he has had custody of the 2 girls since she left.I suspect there are questions we will never know the answers to.I do know he is a GREAT father to all four of his children.He is one of the kindest,gentlest men I have ever known.I spoke to him over the holidays and he was excited about trying yet another time to try to make the marriage work.Inspite of the fact he had caught her with other men in the past he did love her ..IS THAT A REASON FOR MURDER NO.I have never known him to be violent but everyone has a breaking point.Yes he has broken one of the ten commandments but who hasn’t?????.The bible list all ten as sins, not one worse than another.I know Brent is a christian and instead of everyone judging him shouldn’t we leave that to the courts and God?We need to pray for both families and Brent this is a terrible situation

  14. Kirk said,

    January 25, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Yes, both families need a lot of prayer. I think I heard about her walking out. But no one told me about it, I just overheard my my talking on the phone.

  15. Charmaine said,

    January 26, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    In the current situation, it doesn’t matter whether or not she ever walked out. That information means nothing. I do agree that it is none of our places to judge anyone, ever, and yes we all are guilty of doing it anyhow. Its part of our humanity and we often act/judge out of anger or misunderstanding. We know that this issue is now between Brent and God only just as any of our own sins are between ourselves and God. He is the ultimate judge to whom we are accountable. Right now, two mothers have lost their children to a horrible thing. Two children have lost their parents. We need to focus our energy on praying for their healing, comfort and salvation.

  16. Sarah said,

    October 9, 2007 at 3:09 am

    I’m Kirk’s sister, so Brent’s my first cousin too.
    Brent has never been hostile.
    He has 2 sweet sons, and 2 sweet girls.
    We love him, and the kids.
    I never really got to know Ericka, and were very sad about it……She never really connected with any of us….i only saw her once……..but this had really been hard on our family.
    We love Ericka, and feel for her family.


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