If you look up the definition for the word “noir” in Oxford Dictionaries, you’ll see it defined as “a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.” It’s a kind of story when unpleasant things happen to, well, pretty much everyone.
But sometimes even the saddest, most tragic and most horrific tales have a bright spot. That’s exactly what happened in the terrible case of 33-year-old Jessica Arrendale.
At one point, Arrendale must have thought that she’d found the love of her life in 30-year-old Antoine Davis. According to WSB, he was a handsome Marine veteran who’d fought in Iraq.
The two had a child together, 6-month-old Cobie, an adorable little child. But all wasn’t well on the domestic front.
Arrendale’s mother, Teresa Inniello, said that Davis would come home drunk, abusive and physically belligerent. Despite the abuse, Arrendale wouldn’t leave.
Yet on Sept. 13, 2014, his outburst turned violent. People magazine reported that he returned to their Smyrna, Georgia, home after a night on the town.
Drunk and vengeful, his verbal abuse soon turned physical. At some moment, Arrendale must have realized her life was at stake as well as that of little Cobie, who she held in her arms.
Her townhome had three stories and she dashed up them, grabbing a baseball bat for self-defense.
Davis chased after her and wrenched the bat away. He then began to beat her with it as she tried to shield the tiny life in her arms from the hammering blows.
At some point, Arrendale escaped, made her way to a bathroom, and locked the door. But Davis wasn’t done.
He got a rifle, broke the door down, and shot Arrendale in the head. Then he went into another room and ended his own life.
Police soon arrived at the residence, alerted by the commotion and shots. But they didn’t want to rush the residence, afraid of prompting further violence and unaware that the assailant was already dead.
They tried using a surveillance robot to scope out the premises, but it couldn’t manage the stairs. When they finally entered the property, they discovered Davis’ corpse.
They also found Arrendale’s body twisted over the toilet — and in the toilet was tiny Cobie, amazingly still alive. “He shot her, and (police) don’t know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction,” Inniello said.
Jessica Arrendale’s final act was also her bravest. By twisting her body over the toilet in her last moments, she shielded her child from her lover’s murderous rage, saving the baby’s life.
“She wanted that baby to live,” Teresa said. “She was the hero because her last breath was saving the child.”
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