Trial begins for mother accused of killing, dismembering husband’s body

The murder trial of a former resident of South Bend, accused of fatally shooting her husband and dismembering his body in 2021, began with opening arguments.

Thessalonica Allen, aged 36, has been charged in La Porte Circuit Court with two level two felony counts of neglect of a dependent, as well as two level two felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Additionally, she is charged with two level five felony counts of altering the death scene and abusing a corpse, as well as murder.

LaPorte resident Thessalonica Allen, 36, formerly of South Bend, is charged with murdering and dismembering her husband, Frank Allen. Her trial began July 25, 2023, in LaPorte Circuit Court.

Allen claimed that she killed her husband, Frank, in self-defense, stating that he lunged at her with shots fired during an argument. The incident took place on July 18th, 2021, at their home in Maple Tree Apartments, St. W. 1405, while their two children were in the couple’s bedroom.

Officials stated that Frank Allen was shot in his arm, and the projectile ricocheted towards his ribs and penetrated his lung before settling close to his spinal column. Thessalonica Allen’s lawyer informed the jury that Allen had been a violent spouse, and a restraining order was in place against Allen when he was murdered.

The defense attorney stated that Allen Thessalonica had relocated to LaPorte in South Bend several weeks before the shooting incident, in order to get away from her family. However, Allen Frank later moved into an apartment with his wife and children in a short amount of time.

“She was attempting to protect herself,” stated Rodriquez during his opening remarks to the jury regarding Allen.

The Deputy County Prosecutor said that Allen had outlined plans in his notes to either kill his husband or have him fired from his job, and the police recovered these notes from Allen’s residence in La Porte. However, the prosecutor stated that the killing was premeditated based on the Thessalonica notes written by Allen.

“While presenting the initial statements,” Havens stated, “she fired at him then, she replied, ‘you’re not departing; you’re not going anywhere,'” but Frank Allen informed his spouse that he intended to depart on the day of the incident.”

“She had always intended to do it, not out of necessity. She desired to,” the prosecutor informed the jury.

Officials said that the stepfather saw his sister lying on the floor and he went to the bedroom. Shortly after the argument, Addison heard a gunshot. According to authorities, the argument stemmed from a social media post that Addison Deshawn, Allen Frank’s son from Thessalonica, reportedly found on his wife’s computer.

Havens stated, “Allen subsequently directed her two eldest offspring to assist in the tidying of blood within the residence.” The prosecuting attorney mentioned that Allen proceeded to depart from her residence in order to retrieve her two additional children from daycare and acquire cleaning materials. Havens added, “Thessalonica Allen then instructed her children not to contact emergency services, and she displayed no endeavor to aid her spouse while he succumbed to his fatal bleeding.”

Havens stated that the lady intended to drive the corpse to South Bend and ignite the automobile. Allen subsequently requested the identical youngsters to assist her in moving the body to her vehicle.

Havens said they had to drag the body inside the residence and place it into the vehicle, which was too heavy. The body was in a tote, though.

Havens said that the man left home and the police were called. She asked him to help her put the body in the car and reportedly invited the father of her four children to her apartment. However, she allegedly purchased an ax the next day, which she used to dismember her husband’s body and hid it in a closet.

Police stated that the officers informed her, “He assaults me,” and she promptly exited her vehicle in tears. Subsequently, law enforcement discovered Allen inside her vehicle parked by a hardware store and apprehended her.

The court case is anticipated to endure for approximately a week.